- New Hampshire's House of Representatives passed a bill (House Bill 1116) to increase the cap on the state’s net metering program from 50 MW to 100 MW and direct state regulators to come up with an alternative net metering tariff once the bill is signed into law, New Hampshire Public Radio reports.
- New Hampshire is reevaluating its net metering policy after its dominant utility, Eversource Energy, hit its cap in January, pushing the state Senate to increase the cap by 25 MW to total 75 MW and directing the state's utility regulators to come up with a new net metering tariff.
- Solar advocates have claimed that raising the cap on net metering will have minimal effect unless the lawmakers hash out a solution palatable to both sides.
New Hampshire's current debate over how to compensate rooftop solar users for their excess energy mirrors ongoing discourses in other states such as Nevada.
Eversource hit its cap in January, which one solar company claimed that occurance forced it to slash one-third of its workforce in the aftermath. While the state Senate arrived at a similar measure in January to raise the cap from 50 MW to 75, the House took it a step further and increased the cap to 100 MW.
Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) praised the "bipartisan" effort and urged the Senate to send H.B. 1116 to her desk.
“Lifting the cap on net metering is essential to the continued success of New Hampshire’s solar industry,” Gov. Hassan said in a statement.
Though the bill said net metering is available to “customer-generators,” the benefit is expected to go primarily to rooftop solar users.
Eversource Energy, in the meantime, is pushing regulators to arrive at a tariff that addresses the cost-shift of maintaining the grid on non-rooftop solar users.
“If you are getting a net-metered rate, all the customers who don’t have solar are paying for that," Lauren Collins, a spokeswoman for Eversource told Bloomberg.
Nevada and Hawaii garnered national attention with their decision to roll back or replace the net metering retail rate with other options. Nevada reduced the retail rate to wholesale rate for net metered customers, and didn't grandfather in existing rooftop solar users under the original net metering policy.
Hawaii replaced its retail rate with two other options that compensate customers at a new fixed rate if they are supplying power back to the grid, or provide customers with a minimum bill if they are not. California regulators broke this pattern by upholding retail rate net metering until 2019 when they revisit the policy.