Strange bedfellows: How solar and utilities struck a net metering compromise in New York
Across the country, solar customers & installers and battling with utilities over solar net metering – which “turns the meter backwards” at the same retail rate that customers pay their utility.
Solar advocates argue that net metering provides more benefits – to the grid and all customers – than the net metered retail price.
Utilities argue that solar net metering customers “zero out” their bill and don’t contribute to maintaining the aging grid, so the utilities lose money (or other customers have to pay more to make up the lost revenue).
Now, a number of New York State utilities have come together with several of the largest solar companies to reach a compromise.
The bottom line: we all depend on the grid. Those with solar need the grid at night, on cloudy days, or whenever their usage exceeds their solar generation. We need to keep the utilities healthy to maintain and evolve the interconnected grid that is the center of civilization. New York’s proposal provides an interesting path toward ending the war – providing a profit incentive so that utilities can make money on solar, while customers and the solar industry have a clear glide path forward. Read the Utility Dive article on the issue.