solar panels Maine Bar Harbor

02 Apr Bill Signed Into Law to End ‘Gross Metering’ for Residential Solar Systems

solar installation maine calaisGovernor Janet Mills signed into law today a bill that repeals “gross metering,” a controversial approach to assessing fees for solar electricity consumed on a property. It enabled utilities to charge for power that is both produced and consumed on-site, even if it never left the property. This rule was enacted in 2018 with support from Governor Paul LePage. Unfortunately, it increased equipment costs. Under gross metering, homes with a solar system needed another electricity meter, boosting costs for ratepayers.

 

“This bill will eliminate one of the most anti-solar energy provisions in the nation, a penalty on Maine homeowners who are seeking to increase their energy independence,” said Dylan Voorhees, NRCM’s climate and clean energy project director. “The gross metering provision created a fee on energy produced and used within a home, akin to grocery stores charging people who reduce their produce purchases by growing their own tomatoes.”

 

The Maine Public Utilities Commission already suspended gross metering for commercial and industrial sectors last year due to strong opposition. LD 91, “An Act to Eliminate Gross Metering” will terminate the fee for residential solar systems. Similar legislation received strong bipartisan support in 2018 but was vetoed by LePage.

 

The bill was cosponsored by Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, and Sen. David Woodsome, R-Senate District 33. LD 91 can also set the stage for a broader solar reform bill with bi-partisan support.



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