In Pennsylvania and many other states, customers can install distributed generation facilities (e.g., solar panels) behind their electric meters and receive credits to their electric bills for the amount of electricity generated by those facilities. This process, commonly known as net metering, has been largely regulated by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) since the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) Act of 2004 was enacted.
However, the PUC’s authority to regulate net metering is under attack. The Commonwealth Court’s recent decision in Hommrich v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) struck down several of the PUC’s net metering regulations, and a Petition for Declaratory Order filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by the New England Ratepayers Association (NERA) in April 2020 sought to completely undo state regulation of net metering. This article will outline these challenges to the PUC’s authority and explore the potential implications for customers, electric utilities and the PUC.
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