4th Edition of Freeing the Grid; does your state make the grade?

It’s out…the 2010 Freeing the Grid report, the national report card on states’ net metering and interconnection policies. In this edition, the fourth one, it’s no surprises: states continue to lead the way with favorable renewable energy policies.

Produced annually by the Network for New Energy Choices with VoteSolar, IREC and the North Carolina Solar Center, the 2010 edition of Freeing the Grid is available online.

Joe Wiedman, partner at Keyes & Fox, LLP, and Laurel Varnado, Policy Analyst, were IREC’s team members who contributed to this report.

A few highlights from the Freeing the Grid 2010 report :

  • Net Metering Rules: Commonly known as the policy that lets a customer’s electric meter spin backwards, net metering is a simple billing arrangement that ensures solar customers receive fair credit for the excess electricity their systems generate during daytime hours. In 2010, 37 states received “A” or “B” grades for their net metering policies, up from 13 states in 2007.
  • Interconnection Procedures: Interconnection procedures are the rules and processes that an energy customer must follow to be able to “plug” their renewable energy system into the electricity grid. In some cases, the interconnection process is so lengthy, arduous and/or expensive that it thwarts the development of clean energy altogether. In 2010, twenty states received “A” or “B” grades for good interconnection practices, a tremendous improvement over the solitary “B” grade awarded in 2007.
  • Head of the Class: Massachusetts and Utah received exceptional “A” grades in both interconnection and net metering. This is the first time in the report’s history that any state has achieved “A” grades in both categories.
  • Most Likely to Succeed: Colorado’s use of proven best practices and innovative new policy models earned it the top score in net metering. Colorado allows many customer types and systems sizes to benefit from net metering, enabling broad participation in the state’s renewable energy economy. In 2010, the state also took pioneering steps to allow shared, community solar energy systems to receive net metering credits through “Community Solar Gardens.”

Rosalind Jackson, VoteSolar Initiative, authored the press release. You can contact her at 415-817-5061.


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