Reflecting cutting-edge thinking on shared renewables programs, today IREC released its new Model Rules for Shared Renewable Energy Programs. Revised in collaboration with The Vote Solar Initiative, the model rules were updated to assist stakeholders in developing shared renewables programs, to broaden renewable energy access to more consumers.

“The updated Model Program Rules are an essential piece of IREC’s broader effort to empower consumers and support a transition to a sustainable energy future,” said IREC’s President and CEO Jane Weissman.

The revised Model Program Rules include a number of important updates and changes. First and foremost, IREC and Vote Solar have moved from using the term “community renewables” to the terms “shared renewable energy” or “shared renewables.” This new term reflects the core innovation of these programs: enabling multiple consumers to share the benefits of a single renewable energy facility.

In addition, IREC updated its guiding principles for shared renewable energy programs to illustrate better these programs’ critical aspects. Other key updates to the Model Program Rules include:

  • A more detailed discussion of the opportunity that shared renewables programs represent.
  • An explanation of the similarities and differences between shared renewables programs and other related programs.
  • A more refined discussion of the valuation of the energy produced by a shared renewable energy facility, as reflected in a participant’s electricity bill credits.
  • The removal of the two-megawatt facility size limitation in the original Model Program Rules.
  • A discussion of the role for shared renewable energy programs in restructured energy markets.
  • A discussion of low-income energy consumer participation in shared renewable energy programs.
  • The integration of the data that IREC has collected about shared renewables programs nationwide, as reflected in its Shared Solar Program Comparison Chart.

“The updated Model Program Rules are a clear and current primer on shared renewable energy, covering all of the major issues relevant to these programs,” said Joe Wiedman, an attorney at Keyes, Fox & Wiedman, LLP, and the lead on IREC’s shared renewables efforts.

As this exciting market area continues to grow and evolve, IREC will continue to play a leadership role. IREC is available for direct assistance to stakeholders interested in developing shared renewables programs.

For more information on IREC’s shared renewable energy efforts, join IREC for a webinar previewing the updated Model Program Rules on Wednesday, June 26, at 1:00 p.m. EDT or visit IREC’s website.  Vote Solar’s Shared Renewables HQ website is another excellent resource for those interested in shared renewable energy.