Solar net metering has been the backbone of the U.S. rooftop solar market for the past twenty years. Disingenuous attempts to repeal net metering are nothing new, since it encourages a more democratic grid instead of energy monopolies. Net-metering programs fairly compensate homeowners with solar power for energy they feed back to the power grid, and every independent study that’s been conducted finds that solar’s true market value is equal to and in most cases far higher than the compensation solar customers receive as part of net metering agreements with the utility.
Contrary to the critic’s argument that net metering is a subsidy that shifts utility costs unfairly onto non-solar ratepayers, solar investments made by individuals also generate lots of value for ALL ratepayers.
Currently, net-metering policy is set at the state level, but a nonprofit group, New England Ratepayers Association (NERA), has petitioned Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to assert control over all state net-metering programs. FERC is a federal regulatory body that answers only to the Federal Executive Branch and has been consistently oriented toward fossil-fuel interests. We must speak out quickly against NERA’s petition EL20-42. Undoing net-metering policy would devastate solar and other renewable generation installations.
You can learn more about the dubious intentions of NERA and their funding here, but it suffices to say that they have significant ties to powerful climate science deniers. It is also worth mentioning that their annual membership dues are ~$250,000 — despite their insistence that they are a voice of the people.
We have until June 15th to file comments opposing this cynical petition filed by NERA. Every voice raised against this petition is critical. Please pass this message on to your friends and family, because if FERC adopts this petition, it will affect every state in the United States.
ReVision has coordinated with Sunrun to get a number Maine agencies to intervene as part of a national ‘show of force’ to make sure FERC understands that they aren’t going to slip one by under the radar during a pandemic. The legal merits of NERA’s petition are weak, but no one is taking this lightly.
Beyond filing our comments, it should be noted that a result of numerous citizens abandoning plans for clean energy projects due to this attempt at repeal is precisely what NERA has in mind — of course they want to undo years of state-level legislative precedent and progress — but if they can manage to scare folks enough to pull out of projects, then they win, even if they lose.
Here are the action steps:
Prepare your comment. Provided are two samples courtesy of Mothers Out Front. Click here to view and download them. Please personalize it. They are apt to discount comments that are too similar. Save it as a Word document or as a PDF.
Register yourself on the FERC online website. Go to the FERC website. Register yourself by clicking on eRegister in the menu on the left.
Check your email for the “Verification email.” Take the link provided in the FERC email to return to the FERC site and you are ready to start your eFiling.
eFile your comment. Select eFiling from the list on the left. Now select Filing Type on the left, and select General and then Comment (on Filing, Environ, Report, or Tech Conf). Now hit Next.
Select the Docket. Enter docket number EL20-42 and hit Search, and then hit Select to the right of the docket description. The NERA’s petition will show up in the Selected Docket box. Hit Next.
Upload your comment. First enter the description of your comment: “Comment on petition to change net metering rules.” Next, select Choose File to locate your comment file and upload. After uploading, you arrive at a screen where you specify the filing parties. Select as an Individual.
Enter your email address and select Add as signer and click Next.
Unless you want to change something, simply click Next to get to the summary screen.
Finally, you must click on SUBMIT to have your comment go to FERC.
Congratulations, you’re done. Thank you for caring and taking the time to submit a comment opposing this destructive petition.