Net metering of rooftop solar installations is now a matter of debate across the country. Profit-making investor-owned utilities have been trying to roll back existing net metering rules, and resisting their expansion, in at least 25 states (see the end of this article for a list of battleground states).
The Edison Electric Institute (funded by the electric utility industry) and the Natural Resources Defense Council on Wednesday issued a joint release advising that utility companies adjust their business models to accomodate wider use of distributed and net-metered power sources.
Sounds good. But the statement does not recognize that net-metered, privately owned solar and wind generators already bring cost savings to grid operators, nor does it recognize that net-metering customers in most service areas already pay flat fees for the use of utility connection equipment. Instead, the statement advises that new rate designs be fair to all stakeholders – language that leaves room for specious arguments regarding cost-shifting.