GTM Research concludes that the minimum bill is a promising policy option for resolving the net metering debate between electric utilities and the solar industry because it provides both parties with clarity on key issues impacting their businesses. The minimum bill offers electric utilities the certainty that each of their customers will pay at least the minimum bill charge each month, which is critical for their planning needs. And it promises the solar industry that net metering remains intact with only a minimal impact on the economics of the average solar system.
“The proposed minimum bill scheme in Massachusetts has the potential to shift the net metering policy debate in the United States by establishing a middle-ground position between solar homeowners and electric utilities,” said Shayle Kann, Senior Vice President at GTM Research. “We expect to see minimum bills seriously considered in a number of states this year.”
The report also compares a minimum bill to a fixed charge, which has been the policy option considered in many of the recent net energy metering battles – most notably in Arizona. In this regard, the minimum bill also shows promise; the impact of a minimum bill on a customer’s annual electricity bill has only one third of the impact of an equivalent fixed charge.
The Massachusetts minimum bill is part of a compromise brokered by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources among the Solar Energy Industries Association, the New England Clean Energy Council, National Grid, and Northeast Utilities. Other states, including California, are also considering the possibility of introducing a minimum bill to resolve the net energy metering debate.
GTM Research Associate Josh Cornfeld added, “We believe that a minimum bill may become more of a focal point in future net metering discussions around the country. This report should help stakeholders on each side of the debate understand the policy’s impact if adopted.”
About the report:
The report, The Minimum Bill as a Net Metering Solution, available to GTM Research solar clients (http://www.greentechmedia.com/
About GTM Research:
GTM Research (http://www.greentechmedia.com/