Net Metering Cap Update

February 6, 2018

Net metering caps have posed a challenge for a number of solar projects the past couple of years (Note: Small-scale solar projects, e.g. most rooftop residential projects are exempt from net metering caps).  The legislature’s approach to net metering caps is to grant small cap increase every couple of years.  However, due to the high demand for solar, the cap increase never last long.  As soon as caps are hit, solar is put on hold across Massachusetts.

The legislature last acted to raise the public and private net metering caps by 3% each in April 2016 with H. 4173. Since then, caps have been hit again in multiple utility territories.  As of January 2018, the status of the caps in the different utility territories are as follows:

As the table above shows, net metering caps have been hit in National Grid, WMECO and Unitil territories, stalling solar projects across two-thirds of the Commonwealth. An October
analysis by the Solar Energy Industries Association (“SEIA”) estimates that net metering caps are currently stalling more than $78 million in solar projects.