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Mills Signs Bill Restoring 'Net Metering' For Solar Users

Maine Gov. Janet Mills today signed legislation into law that will restore net metering for people who have solar panels.Kathleen Meil, of the environmental group Maine Conservation Voters, says the new rules will allow Mainers to continue a tradition of energy self-reliance.

"We have maybe evolved from cutting and stacking and burning our own wood to putting solar panels on our roofs and capturing the energy of the sun," Meil says. "But it's just the next step in our evolution as a very self-reliant state."

The new policy will replace one put into place during Gov. Paul LePage's administration called "gross metering."

Under those rules, solar users were charged a fee on the power their panels generated.

"What gross metering really did was penalize solar customers to charge them for energy that they produced and used on site," Meil says. "And the process of charging them for that energy actually cost all of us money."

Net metering allows solar generators to sell their excess energy back to the state's electric grid.

In a statement, Gov. Mills office said it will help incentivize the growth of solar across the state. Meil says her group is also expecting a comprehensive package of solar legislation this session.