Texas gets “F” grade on net-metering policies for solar power and more

(Sam Hodgson/Bloomberg)
(Sam Hodgson/Bloomberg)

Texas received an “F” letter grade Tuesday for its lack of net-metering policies to credit energy customers on the amount of power they contribute to the electric grid through solar panels or other means.

The new “Freeing the Grid” report from Vote Solar and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council also gave Texas a “D” grade on its interconnection policies, which are the rules customers follow to “plug” their renewable energy generation into the grid.

The report pushes states to adopt pro-solar policies, particularly when it comes to rooftop solar panels.

“Our nation’s energy future is being charted today in the halls of state regulatory forums and legislatures,” said Vote Solar Executive Director Adam Browning in the announcement. “We have consumers demanding more access to clean, affordable electricity than ever before, and ‘Freeing the Grid’ shows which forward-looking states are working to clear the way for consumer investment in solar power and its many benefits to our communities, our economy and our climate.”

Net-metering policies to give customers financial credit for the solar power they pump into the grid are considered vital incentives for buying and installing solar panels. With some exceptions though, the report notes that Texas as a whole has no traditional net-metering policies. The report does cite the service territory of El Paso Electric for allowing net metering.

Texas is one of 10 states with “F” grades on net metering.

However, some municipal utilities in the state have adopted net-metering policies. A handful of individual companies have begun offering net-metering incentives, whether through electricity providers like TXU Energy or solar panel providers like SolarCity.

As for interconnection policies, Texas was chided for requirements for redundant external disconnect switches and for additional insurance that can drive up customer costs.

Freeing the Grid: Net metering & interconnection from Freeing the Grid on Vimeo.