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Energy regulators uphold compensation for rooftop solar energy producers

Energy regulators uphold compensation for rooftop solar energy producers
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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Thursday rejected a challenge to a practice in which homeowners are paid for the excess solar energy they produce for the electric grid. 

The commission voted unanimously against a challenge to the practice, known as net metering, from the New England Ratepayers Association. 

The association argued that FERC, rather than the states, should have exclusive jurisdiction over the price paid to homeowners and that they are currently overcompensated. 

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However, FERC rejected their petition, saying that New England Ratepayers Association failed to “identify a specific controversy or harm that warrants the Commission acting” according to a summary of Thursday’s FERC meeting. 

Proponents of net metering argue that it incentivizes homeowners to install solar panels and also adds to the energy supply by having these people provide energy to the nation’s electric grid. 

Environmentalists and renewables advocates hailed FERC’s decision as a victory. 

“As the leader of a coalition of conservative groups, solar advocates, state regulators and elected officials from both sides of aisle in opposition to this petition, SEIA applauds FERC’s unanimous decision to dismiss this flawed petition,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, the president Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), in a statement. 

“We will continue working in the states to strengthen net metering policies to generate more jobs and investment and we will advocate for fair treatment of solar at FERC where it has jurisdiction,” Hopper said.