Petition to End Net Metering Would Be Unlawful Federal Power Grab, SEIA

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Jurisdiction over net metering rests with the states and local regulatory bodies and granting a petition to have the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulate retail programs would represent an unlawful federal power grab, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said in response to the petition.

The petition runs counter to the nation’s interests regarding jobs, economic growth and social justice. The petition has drawn significant pushback from a wide variety of parties, including conservative groups, state regulatory agencies, a bipartisan group of state elected officials, and trade associations representing a cross-section of the electricity sector.

SEIA said in its comments that adopting the policies requested by the New England Ratepayers Association (NERA) would be contrary to FERC precedent and inconsistent with the cooperative federalism model established by Congress and enforced by the United States Courts of Appeals. Issuing the declarations sought by NERA would improperly intrude on a state’s sovereign right to administer retail electric service, SEIA wrote.

“Opposition to this petition is pervasive and the legal and jurisdictional problems the petition would create are impossible to overlook,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “It’s hard to fathom why FERC would want to overturn prior decisions and wrest regulatory jurisdiction away from state policymakers. Given the different retail conditions that exist in each region, there may not be a better example of an energy policy that should be overseen at the state and local level.”

SEIA’s response to the petition was filed with FERC.

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