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At the Public Utility Commission:
Building a solar industry depends on net metering

Texas stands to benefit from the development of a robust solar industry. Thousands of jobs and a major resource for clean, reliable power are at stake.

A functioning, competitive solar market, however, depends on a good net metering policy. Traditionally understood—and as implemented by over 30 states nationwide–net metering is a simple billing arrangement by which solar customers realize savings from their system by crediting the customer for the ‘net’ electricity generated onsite during a billing period. Without net metering, the value of an investment in a solar system falls dramatically.

The recent Proposed Order did not meet the traditional understanding of net metering, and the tight timeline did not allow adequate time for solar supporters to make their case. The issue was postponed by PUC Commissioners until their regularly scheduled April 9, 2008 meeting.

We urged clean energy supporters to ask the PUC to define and implement renewable net metering, which is called for by Texas law, as it is applied in 67 other regions in the country, including competitive electricity markets, and as it is defined by the US Department of Energy. This means “netting” the customer’s bill to subtract the outflow from the inflow of electricity over the customer’s monthly billing cycle.