Report offers recommendations for future compensation of rooftop solar

Published on December 12, 2019 by Kevin Randolph

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The New York State Department of Public Service staff issued a report this week that offers several options for future compensation methods for generation by residential rooftop or small commercial solar customers.

The report recommends the continued use of net energy metering, which has been in effect since 1997, with several changes. These changes aim to ensure fairness for all utility customers, increase price signal accuracy, and reduce subsidies that are not tied directly to environmental values, according to the New York State Department of Public Service.

The recommendations would affect mass market rooftop solar systems installed after Jan. 1, 2021. Existing rooftop solar customers would not be affected but would be able to opt in to the new tariff.

“A smarter and careful improvement in compensation for rooftop solar projects will assure that these markets are developed in a robust, cost-effective, and sustainable way,” Department CEO John B. Rhodes said. “Solar needs to be a mainstream component of our power generation mix, not a niche industry. Today’s report aims to continue and expand investment in New York’s clean energy economy in a way that is good for all customers and for the State’s clean energy policy.”

Department staff also recently filed a letter requesting that the Secretary to the New York Public Service Commission formally extend the effective date of any change in NEM to Jan. 1, 2021, to provide certainty while the report is under consideration.

The Public Service Commission will now solicit public comment, and Department staff will develop final recommendations for consideration by the Commission.