The Center for Research in Regulated Industries (CRRI) at Rutgers University, which aims to further study of regulation in economics, finance, and institutions, held its January workshop at Rutgers Business School in Newark, New Jersey, on 12 January 2018. NERA Senior Consultant Willis Geffert spoke at the workshop, giving a presentation titled “Net Metering: Benefit-Cost Studies and Policy Options for DG [Distributed Generation] Solar.” The prevalence of behind-the-meter PV (photovoltaic) solar generation—“rooftop solar” panels—has grown remarkably in recent years. In parallel, the debate has expanded about how to compensate customers who provide that generation, and how those same customers should pay for the electricity and related services they receive from their utility. While most US states have adopted a “net-metering” rate policy, some states have moved beyond net metering and many others are considering doing so. Often, benefit-cost studies inform the debate and even help set the rates/tariffs that apply in a post-net-metering structure. However, those studies can produce widely varying results (e.g., on the value of energy injections to the grid or the costs of withdrawals).
In his presentation, Mr. Geffert discusses the differing results and methods in net-metering benefit-cost studies, reviews the policy debate, and puts forward a description of how economic principles can inform regulatory and policy decisions about net metering. His presentation builds off a paper he wrote recently with colleague and NERA Director Kurt Strunk (available here).
To learn more, visit the CRRI website.