Maine Suspends Fee on Medium and Large Solar Customers

Ends policy requiring customers to pay for electricity generated and used onsite

Photo: Solar panel installation (Shutterstock)

December 12, 2018 (PORTLAND, ME) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) issued the following statement today in response to a decision by the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to suspend so-called “gross metering” on medium and large solar customers in the state.

“It is senseless to punish solar panel owners for generating their own electricity, and today’s ruling finally recognizes that fact,” said Emily Green, Staff Attorney at CLF. “This regressive policy burdened businesses with unnecessary fees and thwarted efforts to expand solar energy in Maine. Clean, job-creating solar will help end our addiction to dirty fossil fuels and we must do more to encourage it, including eliminating this senseless fee for homes and small businesses next.”

“Gross metering” was adopted by the PUC two years ago. It required the installation of expensive metering equipment in order to charge solar customers an additional fee on the power they produce and consume. The added costs of implementing the rule are borne by all of Maine’s electricity customers.

CLF along with the Natural Resources Council of Maine, ReVision Energy, and the Industrial Energy Consumers Group previously filed a lawsuit challenging the PUC rule, which is currently pending in Maine Superior Court.

To read the full PUC decision, click here.

CLF experts are available for further comment.