Net Metering Petition Dismissed | Double Capacity | We’re Still on Top
This week’s big news came out on Thursday when FERC dismissed a petition to declare solar net metering policies illegal. From Greentech Media, “The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday unanimously rejected a plea to declare all state solar net-metering policies illegal, a victory for solar industry groups and state policymakers. All four FERC commissioners voted to dismiss the April petition from the New England Ratepayers Association (NERA), which argued that FERC, not states, should have jurisdiction over sales of electricity from customer-sited generators like rooftop solar. ‘We find that the petition does not identify a specific controversy or harm that the commission should address in a declaratory order,’ FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee said in Thursday’s FERC open meeting. NERA, a New Hampshire-based 501(c)(4) organization that hasn’t disclosed its backers, said FERC should take up the group’s legal argument to assert federal jurisdiction over net metering regulations in 41 states that ‘overcompensate distributed generators at the expense of all other electricity consumers.’”
Sticking with solar, in Massachusetts this week the State House News Service via WBUR reports, “New State Rules Aim To Double Solar Power Capacity. Industry groups on Wednesday largely welcomed the updated regulations that the Baker administration filed for a solar energy development program, saying the new rules will help the state meet its climate goals and help the solar industry as it deals with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, but some also said the update does not go far enough. The updated regulations for the state’s Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) incentive program, which is designed to facilitate solar projects by ensuring financing, double the program’s capacity, expand eligibility criteria for low-income solar projects and encourage the adoption of energy storage technology.” The regulations took effect Wednesday.
Last story for this week is new “old news.” From Wallethub, “2020’s Most & Least Energy-Expensive States. In the U.S., energy costs eat between 5 and 22 percent of families’ total after-tax income, with the poorest Americans, or 25 million households, paying the highest of that range. And lower energy prices don’t necessarily equate to savings. Where we live and how much energy we use are a big part of the equation. While commercial and industrial electricity use have declined in 2020 due to business closures during lockdowns, residential electricity use has actually increased, which means many people will be forking over larger checks to their power companies. To better understand the impact of energy on our finances relative to our location and consumption habits, WalletHub compared the total monthly energy bills in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Our analysis uses a special formula that accounts for the following residential energy types: electricity, natural gas, motor fuel and home heating oil.” The results for the Northeast, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire are the top 4 most expensive states. Maine comes in at six and Vermont is 11th.
That’s the recap for this week. Have a great weekend and as always, stay safe.
Eversource puts in place new safety guidelines for energy efficiency services, Daily Energy Insider
Net Zero as the New Standard, Commercial Property Executive
Become More Energy Efficient And Save Money, WWLP MassAppeal
Never let a good crisis go to waste, CT Mirror
Global Methane Emissions Reach a Record High, New York Times
Key trends to disrupt the US renewables market in the next six months, Smart Energy International
How the ‘15-Minute City’ Could Help Post-Pandemic Recovery, Bloomberg City Lab
Six Places Doing It Right, Politico
‘We’re here for the people,’ Observer Today (NY)
FERC Unanimously Dismisses Effort to Undermine Solar Net Metering, Greentech Media
New State Rules Aim To Double Solar Power Capacity, State House News via WBUR
Electric cars got crushed in 2020, but next year could be their best, Quartz.com (subscriber content)
Where do electric vehicles fit in energy grid management,? Automotive World Today
Public resistance and high costs are canceling pipelines across the country, Philadelphia Inquirer
The Natural Gas Divide, grist.org
Top 3 trends shaping the future power utility sector, Smart Energy International
2020’s Most & Least Energy-Expensive States, Wallet Hub
Former MassCEC chief takes CEO role at Burlington power company, Boston Business Journal
Our racist fossil fuel energy system, Boston Globe