Electricity Policy



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EEI: Net metering of customer generation can hurt utility growth

Electric utilities are making it clear that net metering, a billing device that makes distributed generation economically more attractive, is not their friend. As William Pentland reports in a Forbes blog, the Edison Electric Institute’s Rick Tempchin published an op-ed in Intelligent Utility highlighting the threat net metering and distributed generation pose for electric utilities. Net metering, which 43 states and the District of Columbia have adopted in some form, gives consumers who generate their own electricity – e.g., through rooftop solar, micro-turbines, combined heat and power – a credit for generating electricity they sell back to the grid. This, says Tempchin, EEI’s executive director for retail energy services at, deprives the utility of revenues it needs to expand its grid, which all customers rely on. Also, he notes, some states compensate the customer for energy it sells to the utility at the utility’s retail rate, which is costlier than the wholesale market price.

Read what’s simmering on the customer self-generation front.

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