Attorney General Frosh Opposes Petition to FERC to End State Net Metering Programs
Move Would Put State’s Authority to Operate Clean Energy Programs and Consumers at Risk
BALTIMORE, MD (June 15, 2020) – Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today joined a coalition of 16 attorneys general, the California Energy Commission, and the California Public Utilities Commission in calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reject a petition seeking to end state net metering programs. Approval of the petition could deprive states of a vital clean energy program, financially harm millions of customers, and place thousands of jobs at risk.
The states’ protest, filed with FERC today, argues that a petition by the privately funded “New England Ratepayers Association” (NERA) is unlawful and would improperly overturn long-settled precedent that recognizes state authority to implement net metering programs. Net metering allows customers that generate their own clean electricity—like using rooftop solar panels—to lower their retail electricity bills by offsetting the amount of electricity they use with the amount they produce.
“NERA’s petition is cloaked in pro-consumer rhetoric, but is designed to undermine the market for rooftop solar,” said Attorney General Frosh. “States like Maryland operate net metering programs to ensure that retail customers are properly compensated for their investment in rooftop solar. Upending the status quo, which has been fundamental to the buildout of solar resources across the country, would unnecessarily jeopardize the continued development of these environmentally important resources.”
NERA is a corporate trade association that keeps its members and donors a secret, with a history of opposing state environmental regulation and renewable energy projects. In the protest filing, the states argue