SEIA, Vote Solar aim to unify state-level solar advocates

Finally.

In recognition of the new solar reality – that most fights over solar policy will be fought at the state level and not on Capitol Hill – the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Vote Solar have developed a set of principles designed to shape and unite future state-level advocacy on behalf of the industry.

The two organizations put the principles down on paper in a free paper titled Principles for the Evolution of Net Energy Metering and Rate Design, which are meant to guide regulators and stakeholders as the solar industry searches for alternatives to traditional net metering. 

“To communicate effectively as a group, you need to sing from the same song sheet, and I’m confident this set of shared principles will resonate loud and clear,” said Sean Gallagher, SEIA’s vice president of state affairs. “By disseminating these principles as widely as possible, we’re taking a collective, proactive approach that will ultimately allow for expanded consumer electricity choice and fair compensation for America’s families.”

Already in 2017, 40 states and D.C. have considered changes to utility rate designs and policies that affect solar, and some of them have passed laws that have damaged the industry, particularly the rooftop solar industry. SEIA and Vote Solar developed the guidelines in the hopes of shaping current and future rate-design cases, especially in states with the highest levels of distributed solar are driving the discussion.

The paper is organized into four sections to guide the decision-making process:

  • Basic principles, foundational to considerations for considering rate design and compensation for distributed solar generation.
  • Criteria and conditions for the consideration of alternatives to net-energy metering
  • Guiding principles for solar rate design, and
  • Guiding principles for alternative compensation
“By this time next year, more than to million households nationwide will own or lease rooftop solar,” said Rick Gilliam, program director of DG Regulatory Policy at Vote Solar. “Americans will continue to invest in solar to harness clean, affordable and reliable power for their own homes and businesses. This set of principles was designed with that in mind and should serve as a guide for all stakeholders that share that vision.”