The Alliance for solar choice supports solar common ground with utilities in Massachusetts
Thursday, Jun 12, 2014

BOSTON, June 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC), additional solar industry groups, Massachusetts utilities, and the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) will participate today in a public briefing on common-ground language regarding the future of solar in Massachusetts.  TASC supports this language, which represents the first instance of comprehensive agreement between the solar industry and utilities.

The language is currently under consideration with the Joint Committee on Telecom, Utilities and Energy Committee for movement into legislation.  It includes four key components:

Remove Massachusetts' net metering cap.  Net metering is a cornerstone solar policy that gives rooftop solar customers retail credit for the surplus energy they put back on the grid.  Currently, a cap on the number of customers that can participate in net metering threatens continued solar growth. The language under consideration removes this cap.

Broad rate reform grounded in minimum bills for all customers.  The language supports minimum bills for all customers.  Minimum bills create a floor on all customers' electric bills, rather than singling out specific groups with discriminatory, additional charges.  They treat solar customers no differently than any other energy-conscious customers (i.e. using solar is no different than consuming less energy because you turn off the lights or go on vacation).

Replace the Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program with a more stable and efficient incentive program.  The new program would have performance-based incentive levels that step down over time as solar costs continue to drop.

Provide a sustainable framework for virtual net metering.  Virtual metering – entirely different from net metering -- refers to solar energy generated at a separate site from customers’ electric meters. The proposed language creates a sustainable framework for virtual metering so that Massachusetts can continue to encourage solar growth and customer choice.

"While high-pitched battles between utilities and the solar industry continue across the country, Massachusetts has found a collaborative path forward," said TASC President and Sunrun VP of Public Policy Bryan Miller.  "This precedential language is consistent with Massachusetts' long history of leadership and innovation."

The public briefing will take place at the Federal Reserve Bank, Boston from 2pm-4pm ET on June 11.

About The Alliance for Solar ChoiceThe Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) leads the rooftop solar advocacy across the country.  Founded by the largest rooftop companies in the nation, TASC represents the vast majority of the market.  Its members include: Demeter Power, SolarCity, Solar Universe, Sungevity, Sunrun, and Verengo.

Sarah Wolfe

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For more information, please visit: The Alliance for Solar Choice

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