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Vermont Utilities Question Solar Net Metering

August 22, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

Vermont Electric Coop logoAdd Vermont to the list of states where some utilities are balking at solar net metering.

Vermont Electric Cooperative in Johnson, Vt., and Hardwick Electric Department in Hardwick, Vt., each have enough customers signed up for net metering to meet a quota – 4 percent of each utility’s peak demand. And the utilities don’t want to accept any more applications beyond that cap, reports Forbes.

The two utilities claim that their customers who don’t have solar net metering are getting stuck paying grid maintenance costs for net-metered customers. In Vermont, net-metered customers get a credit of 20 cents for every kWh they supply to the grid. Some solar customers have reduced their electric bills so much they are longer paying customer service or other fees, says Forbes.

However, some of Vermont’s utilities still fully support net metering, notably Green Mountain Power, the state’s largest utility.

Meanwhile, in Arizona, two advertisements have aired attacking net metering. The ads appear to be in response to a new filing with the Arizona Corporate Commission that would likely result in reduced incentives for roof-top solar from Arizona’s largest utility Arizona Public Service.

In Colorado, Xcel Energy says it wants to clarify the costs of net metering, according to Solar Industry Magazine. Xcel says net metering incentives come out of the pockets of non-solar customers.

Four solar companies – SolarCity, Sungevity, Sunrun and Verengo – have formed The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) to ensure the continuation of net energy metering, which currently exists in 43 states.


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