Is a Win for Rooftop Solar in Washington State a Sign of Things to Come?

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The Alliance for Solar Choice announces a victory against an ALEC-inspired attack on net metering in Washington State. Could this signal more wins for net metering this year?

Another day, another solar victory.

The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) announced today that solar won big this week against an attack from The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

 

Last year, ALEC initiated its campaign against rooftop solar and net metering with a template for anti-net metering policies. An ALEC-inspired charge on solar customers was before the Washington state legislature this week. The same legislation (HB 2176 and HB 1301) would have also given utilities monopolistic control over the rooftop solar market by blocking companies other than the utilities from offering solar leasing programs.

 

TASC and other clean energy advocates fought against the legislation and were successful this week in upholding net metering. The legislation died with the end of session yesterday — a blow to ALEC, as well as anti-solar utilities and their national trade association Edison Electric Institute (EEI).

 

Washington represents the first decision stemming from the influence of ALEC’s template. The resulting ALEC defeat means another victory for the solar industry.

 

The solar industry saw a 4-0 winning streak last year in defending net metering from utility attacks, and this year’s first decision continues that success. ALEC was also unsuccessful last year in gutting the numerous renewable portfolio standards they attacked around the country. The organization then set its sights on net metering. But if this recent defeat is any indication, ALEC could be defeated just as overwhelmingly on the net metering issue. That would be a big win for solar, and a big win for  voters and ratepayers, who support rooftop solar overwhelmingly.