Solar Legislative Update, Summer 2015
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Some bad solar bills were defeated, as were a number of good ones that had broad bipartisan support, but not enough to overcome the Govenor’s veto. The most ambitious of the solar bills, LD1263, was transformed into a “Resolve” supported by both solar installers, the utilities, as well as rate payer advocates and legislators from both parties. The revised LD1263 (which was enacted after a veto-proof majority voted for it) calls on Maine’s PUC to explore an economics-based “Value of Solar” policy to supplement net metering, and more fairly compensate solar customers for excess production exported to the grid. That PUC process will happen over the next six months and the policy recommendation will be taken up again by the legislature in the next legislative session (January 2016). More details on this legislation available on NRCM’s website.
The full-fledged $52 million “raid” on New Hampshire’s Renewable Energy Fund (REF), which provides rebates and competitive grants for renewable energy systems, was averted. It now appears that $2.2 million of REF funding will be diverted over the next biennium, although the legislature’s budget was vetoed by Governor Hassan, so the situation remains somewhat fluid. New Hampshire’s $3,750 state rebate for homeowners should remain safe.