- Maine regulators will continue their review of net metering policies into the New Year, as they sift through hundreds of comments and consider views presented at an October public hearing, Bangor Daily News reports.
- The Public Utilities Commission is considering phasing out retail rate net metering over the next 15 years, grandfathering existing systems for that full period and new installations for just 10 years. The new rate would be about half the retail amount.
- Officials say rapidly changing solar technology means the proposal requires "a careful review of the current rule and potential modifications."
Maine regulators held a public hearing in October and have received a slew of comments since, leading the PUC to warn that a decision on net metering is not imminent.
"This is an important Rule and more time is needed to consider the Proposed Rule in light of the comments we received to ensure that the Rule treats all ratepayers in a fair manner" Commission Chairman Mark Vannoy said in a statement this week. "It remains clear that changes in technology and costs of small renewable generation, particularly solar PV, require a careful review of the current Rule and potential modifications."
A spokesman for the PUC told the Bangor Daily News there is no set deadline for action. “It could be January, it could be February or March. I can’t say definitively,” Harry Lanphear told the newspaper.
In July, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) proposed a shorter, three-year grandfathering period. Lawmakers in the state have pushed back, saying a full look at solar resources is needed before decisions are made. The PUC said that its review of net metering, and possible legislative action, are taking place concurrently.