Most Americans support "net energy metering"

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/9/8 8:31:53

About three in every four Americans support the net energy metering policies, which allow residents with wind turbines and solar panels to sell excess energy back to the grid at retail rates, according to a national poll conducted by University of Michigan (UM) researchers.

The poll, believed to be the first nationally representative public opinion poll of its kind, surveyed 841 US adult residents between April 17 and May 16, and found public support for net energy metering is consistently positive.

Poll results show that 76 percent of self-identified moderates and 62 percent of self-identified conservatives support net energy metering, 72 percent of Americans aged 50-64 and 66 percent of those aged 65 and older support net energy metering, and 64 percent of respondents who said they don't think there is solid evidence of climate change support net energy metering.

As the number of Americans generating their own power is increasing, net energy metering has become a hotly debated topic in legislatures across the nation. In the past two years, all but two states, namely Alaska and Wyoming, have discussed how to balance the interests of their electric utilities along with a public that wants to sell excess energy to the grid.

Renewable energy advocates see the practice as a way to expand use of renewables and meet climate targets, but many utility companies argue that it unfairly favors solar customers.

"There are lots of rooftops, so lots of potential to generate power," said Sarah Mills, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy at UM's Ford School of Public Policy. "But without net metering, rooftop solar makes less financial sense for homeowners. So it's an important policy tool."

Posted in: AMERICAS

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