NewEnergyNews: TODAY’S STUDY: The Fight Over Solar Policy Goes On


Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.


  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Obama Talks Global Food In A Time Of Climate Change
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Global New Energy Jobs Keep Booming
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Record-Breaking Solar Sales In India
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-China Wind Will Re-Train U.S. Coal Workers


  • TTTA Thursday-New Study Explicitly Refutes Trump EPA Head’s Denial
  • TTTA Thursday-Solar Jobs Lead U.S. Economy
  • TTTA Thursday-Wind Gets Endorsement From U.S. Utility Giant

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Solar Surging, States Responding
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Big Solar-Residential Solar Face Off
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Hard Road To A New Solar Paradigm In Montana

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Most Energy Efficient Cities Right Now
  • QUICK NEWS, May 23: How To Tell Kids About Climate Change; California Takes A New Look At Wind; Mercedes Benz Goes Solar – With Batteries

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Solar For Everybody Else
  • QUICK NEWS, May 22: The Plan To Beat Climate Change; Ready For The Offshore Wind Boom; Solar Research Faces Trump Cuts

  • Weekend Video: Forget The Planet, Save The Pizza
  • Weekend Video: Wind Power Shines Its Light
  • Weekend Video: Storing Solar As A Liquid
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews


    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns


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  • ---------------
  • FRIDAY WORLD, May 26:

  • Obama Talks Global Food In A Time Of Climate Change
  • Global New Energy Jobs Keep Booming
  • Record-Breaking Solar Sales In India
  • China Wind Will Re-Train U.S. Coal Workers

    Tuesday, November 01, 2016

    TODAY’S STUDY: The Fight Over Solar Policy Goes On

    50 States Of Solar; Q3 2016 Quarterly Report

    October 2016 (North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center)

    Executive Summary

    Overview Of Q3 2016 Policy Changes In The Third Quarter Of 2016, 42 States plus DC took a total of 117 actions related to distributed solar policy and rate design (Figure 1). These actions span at least 95 unique regulatory dockets. Table 1 provides a summary of state actions related to net metering, rate design, and solar ownership during Q3 2016. Of the 117 actions catalogued, the most common were related to residential fixed charge increases (44), followed by net metering (31), and solar valuation or net metering studies (17).

    Top Five Solar Policy Developments Of Q3 2016

    Five of the quarter’s top policy developments are highlighted below. Several major regulatory decisions were made in Q3 2016, as well as continued work in other significant solar proceedings.

    Demand Charge and Net Metering Decisions Delayed in Unisource Energy Services Rate Case

    Until Arizona Value of Distributed Generation Proceeding Concludes In August 2016, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) issued a decision in Unisource Energy Services’ general rate case, which includes proposals to increase the residential fixed charge, adopt a demand charge for customers with on-site distributed generation (DG) systems, and reduce the net metering credit rate. The ACC approved an increase in the residential fixed charge, but delayed a decision on the demand charge and net metering proposals until a decision is made in the state’s broader Value of DG proceeding.

    Nevada Settlement Agreement Grandfathers Existing Net Metering Customers

    The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) approved a settlement agreement in September 2016 grandfathering net metering customers who had applied or installed systems by December 31, 2015. The PUCN’s December 2015 decision to reduce net metering credit rates did not originally grandfather existing net metering customers. The Governor’s New Energy Industry Task Force also recommended that the legislature restore retail rate net metering, with a $25 minimum bill, until the PUCN can implement a compensation mechanism based on the value of solar.

    Arkansas Evaluates Net Metering Credit Rate Issues

    In accordance with legislation enacted in 2015, the Arkansas Public Service Commission is evaluating the state’s net metering policy. A major part of this investigation is focused on examining cost-shift issues and determining if changes should be made to net metering credit rates or if customer-generators should pay additional charges.

    Grid Access Charges Dropped in Favor of Time-of-Use Rates in Xcel Energy Colorado Settlement Agreement

    In August 2016, a settlement agreement was reached in Xcel Energy Colorado’s general rate case, in which the utility proposed a new grid access charge for all residential customers. Instead of adopting a grid access charge, Xcel Energy would implement pilot time-of-use rates for residential customers, with the goal of making these default rates. The settlement has not yet been approved, but is supported by a majority of parties.

    NARUC Releases Draft DER Compensation Manual

    The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners released their draft distributed energy resource (DER) compensation manual in July 2016. The manual does not make recommendations for DER rate design, but rather offers regulators a menu of options and issues to consider. NARUC accepted comments on the draft manual through September 2, 2016.

    The Big Picture: Top Trends Of Q3 2016

    1-A Departure in Fixed Charge Decision Trends ‘

    Requests to increase residential fixed charges are showing no sign of slowdown. In contrast to last quarter’s fixed charge decisions, where most utilities were not granted an increase, all fixed charge decisions in Q3 granted utilities at least a partial increase. On average, utilities were granted 53% (median of 37%) of their requested increase in Q3 2016.

    2-Net Metering Credit Rate Considerations Continue

    The majority of net metering changes relate to credit rates for electricity exported to the grid. There are currently [nine] states considering changes related to credit rates, up from seven last quarter.

    3-Increasing Granularity of Community Solar Credit Rates

    Most community solar programs are structured such that subscribers receive retail rate per-kWh credits on their bills. However, recently some states have proposed more granular approaches to community solar credit rates, with one state proposing time-of-use rates and another moving toward value of solar rates.

    4-More Action on Demand Charges for All Residential Customers

    Residential demand charges remain an emerging area of interest, but few proposals are being put forward by investor-owned utilities. Of note, the two most recent proposals for residential demand charges apply to all residential customers, rather than residential customer-generators only.

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