When homeowners or businesses install solar panels, state laws ensure utility companies pay for unused electricity that is routed back into the power grid – a practice known as net metering.
Currently, 43 states and the District of Columbia have implemented net metering policies, some of which are more favorable than others, but all of which turn the power grid into a two-way street.
The cost of rooftop solar-powered electricity will be on par with prices for common fossil-fuel power generation in just two years, and the technology to produce it will only get cheaper, according to Deutsche Bank’s leading solar industry analyst, Vishal Shah.
As Americans have warmed to solar power and its ability to reduce electricity bills, utilities are suffering revenue losses and have been seeking ways to recoup that money. Over the past several years, state utility commissions and legislatures have pursued policies that reduce the benefits of adopting distributed solar power systems for homeonwers and businesses.