Raise the Roof on Solar in Massachusetts

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With its innovation economy and leading energy policies, Massachusetts has been a bright spot of solar growth. In fact, solar has proven so popular in Massachusetts that the state met its 250 MW goal four years early! Not one to rest on his laurels, Governor Patrick went ahead and upped the ante with a higher 1,600 MW by 2020 target.

Net metering is one of the most important programs behind Massachusetts solar success. This popular program gives Bay Staters fair, full credit on their energy bills for valuable clean electricity they deliver to the grid for use nearby. The state’s well-designed program places makes it a national leader in our Freeing the Grid report. Net metering is fair, it’s working & now it’s at risk because of an arbitrary cap.

Massachusetts law places a 6% cap on net metering participation, after which utilities are no longer required to offer this important customer right to new solar energy customers. Schools and local governments are already hitting their allocation of the cap (3%). Net metering allows these public institutions go solar to save on their utility bills and direct precious limited resources to core programs like education. Massachusetts homeowners and private businesses are not far behind in hitting their limit (another 3%). You can see how little room for solar growth is left under the cap yourself on the state of Massachusetts tracker here. Hitting the cap means slamming the brakes on continued rooftop solar adoption. Not good.

We are working with broad coalition of solar supporters to urge the legislature to expand net metering benefits to more customers and keep Massachusetts solar shining. If you live in the state, we’ve made it easy to add your voice by signing this petition to legislators.

Net metering benefits solar and non-solar customers alike. It is putting Massachusetts energy customers in charge of their electricity supply and utility bills like never before. It reduces the need for utilities to build expensive and polluting fossil fuel power plants and grid infrastructure. It’s bringing much-needed innovation, competition and ingenuity to our antiquated utility market. It’s keeping millions of energy dollars invested in Massachusetts. It’s helping employ 8,400 people at 283 companies. And, of course, it’s reducing pollution which contributes to healthier people, environment and global climate.

Rooftop solar is helping build a cleaner, safer and more resilient energy supply for all Massachusetts energy customers. In other words: it’s wicked awesome, so let’s keep it shining.

Vote Solar is a non-profit grassroots organization working to fight climate change and foster economic opportunity by bringing solar energy into the mainstream.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.