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Robert Young of McNees Wallace & Nurick. Robert Young of McNees Wallace & Nurick.

Net metering is one of the public policy tools that states and state regulatory commissions use to spur the growth of renewable energy generation. Throughout 48 states and the District of Columbia, in April 2020 more than 2.3 million residential electricity customers and almost 90,000 commercial and industrial electricity customers generated their own electricity through solar panels and sold more than 175,000 megawatt hours of excess electricity back to their electric companies. US EIA https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia861m/xls/net_metering2020.xlsx. Solar represents 96% of net metered generation.

At the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) July 16 public meeting the FERC declined to take up the substantive issues in a petition for declaratory order which sought  to have the FERC declare that “full net metering” involves wholesale sales subject to exclusive federal jurisdiction under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) and the Federal Power Act (FPA) and not retail transactions subject to laws of each state. See Order Dismissing Petition for Declaratory Order, 172 FERC ¶ 61,042 (July 16, 2020) (FERC Order). The FERC Order dismissed the Petition for Declaratory Order of New England Ratepayers Association Concerning Unlawful Pricing of Certain Wholesale Sales, FERC Docket No. EL20-42-00, filed April 14, 2020 (NERA Petition).

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