Earlier this week Vote Solar and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) released their Freeing the Grid 2015 report card rating the states on net metering and interconnection standards. The policies are widely regarded as two of the most important to encourage the wide-spread use and adoption of solar power. Overall the report found the policies are getting better in most states, though a few are not doing as well, like Nevada.
“More states across the country are actively working to adopt best practice interconnection standards, which help support and enable growth of customer-generated energy sources,” said IREC Regulatory Director Sara Baldwin Auck. “In addition to ensuring the safety and reliability of the electric grid, these technical standards also enable fair, affordable and efficient consumer access to renewable energy. States with updated, best practice interconnection rules and policies in place enable an improved experience for utilities, regulators, renewable energy developers and consumers alike.”
The report found that six states improved their net metering grades in 2015. Now more than two-thirds of the U.S.’s states received ‘A’ or ‘B’ grades in its report card. However, Hawaii and Nevada, which are among rooftop solar leaders in terms of solar installed, received ‘F’ grades because of recent policy decisions. Nevada, in particular, has raised the ire of homeowners and solar installers because it is retroactively impacting solar customers.
The report card also looked at states’ interconnection regulations. It found that in 2015 five states improved their interconnection regulations, including Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Hampshire and North Carolina. North Dakota was the only state to receive a lower grade.
“Our nation’s energy future is being charted today in the halls of state regulatory forums and legislatures. We have consumers demanding more access to clean, affordable electricity than ever before, and Freeing the Grid shows which forward-looking states are working to clear the way for consumer investment in solar power and its many benefits to our communities, our economy and our climate,” said Vote Solar Executive Director Adam Browning.Tweet