Fight for states’ rights on net metering continues after petition’s dismissal: panelists
NERA asserted in the petition that full net metering was simply bad policy, fostering inequitable cost shifts among customers, distorting wholesale power markets and disadvantaging “firm resources” needed to maintain reliability. The group, which says it advocates for ratepayers in the region but has drawn criticism for not disclosing its donors, had urged FERC to declare that all excess generation from a utility customer’s distributed energy resources located behind the meter was a wholesale sale subject to FERC’s jurisdiction.
According to analysis by the think tank R Street Institute, the petition drew more than 49,360 comments in opposition, compared with just 21 filings of support.
Opponents of the petition argued that a policy shift as envisioned by NERA would have stripped states of their authority over rates paid for energy sold back to the host utility by net metering customers. Such a move would have turned on its head the economics that supported existing installations of residential and commercial rooftop solar systems and likely slowed the growth of new behind-the-meter solar systems.