Rooftop solar battlefield bound to get hotter

solar battlefieldBy Ken Silverstein | EnergyBiz

The rooftop solar battleground is bound to get hotter. The latest such clash occurred in Arizona, which ultimately settled on a modest price increase for businesses and homes that generate most of their own juice.

The issue nationally, called net metering, is far from resolved. About 40 states have rules on the books that try to calculate who gets paid for what when consumers use distributed power, or rooftop solar panels — something that pits them against the incumbent utilities. The general question is exactly how much those solar customers should have to pay their utilities if they are, generally, detached from it. Utilities must still maintain the grids, which are used to send electrons when the sun is not shining and when customers have excess energy to sell to utilities.

In mid November, Arizona’ Corporation Commission decided it would levy a small charge on rooftop solar customers, or those who use such distributed power. The Arizona Public Public Service, a key utility there, had requested a charge that would equate to roughly $50 a month, although it turned out to be roughly $5 dollars a month.


Related: Solar Dominates Added U.S. Energy Capacity In October

New FERC Rule Could Prompt States To Improve Interconnect Processes For Distributed Solar

If you’d like to discuss energy issues, contact Court Rich, director of Rose Law Group’s Renewable Energy Department at

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November 2013