According to a report from New York-based Network for New Energy Choices, New Jersey leads the nation in net metering, while Arizona lacks any statewide rules, leaving utilities to make their own. “Net metering” is when solar energy users generate more electricity than they use, feeding excess back into the electric grid in exchange for credit to be applied at times when the sun isn’t out. Under Arizona regulations, says the report, the local utility companies have such a low cap on how much net metering they’ll allow credit for that it prevents larger installations from coming in. Tuscon Electric Power caps the reimbursement level at 10kW, which is much lower than places with statewide rules, some of which set caps at 1MW or 2MW.
Defenders of Arizon’s net-metering rules say that the state hasn’t adopted regulations yet because the Arizona Corporation Commission has been busy working on renewable energy standards that will require that all the state’s utilities must produce 15% of all their energy from renewable sources by 2025, and that 30% of that must come from distributed energy sources, such as solar panels.