From the Portland Press Herald:
The near-term future of rooftop solar energy in Maine is likely to be decided this spring, as lawmakers consider changes to a widely criticized rule approved in January by the Public Utilities Commission.
Two major bills are pending that would supersede the PUC’s approach to compensating homeowners for the solar power they generate, an incentive called net energy billing or net metering. If nothing happens, the PUC rule goes into force in 2018.
Remember that in 2015 the very same PUC concluded a study into the value of solar in Maine. What it found was that solar benefits all ratepayers, whether they have solar on their roof or not. Our take is that even with the benefit of several months to reconsider their initial ruling, the PUC has decided to issue an un-implementable, ‘judgement with no trial’ indictment of solar that ignores their own data showing that solar adds tremendous value to the grid and that utility customers should be able to benefit from this value.
One bill, sponsored by Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, would preserve the full financial incentives of net metering, and offer rebates to help more homes and businesses generate electricity from the sun. This bill is backed by the Maine Environmental Priorities Coalition, which represents conservation, faith-based and public health groups.
Another bill is due to be sponsored by Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Wilton. It also would preserve full net-metering incentives, but only until a PUC study determines how to use smart electric meters to calculate the value of solar at different times of the day and year. It was developed with help from industry leaders, including ReVision Energy, Maine’s largest solar installer, and SunRun, the nation’s top rooftop solar company.
Read the full article here: http://www.pressherald.com/2017/03/20/bills-to-expand-solar-incentives-ready-to-launch/