Community, or shared, solar makes it possible for anyone with an electric bill to access solar energy, even if they can’t put it where they live.
We’ve been working since 2011 to make community solar a reality in the District. The D.C. Council passed the Community Renewables Energy Act of 2013, which authorizes virtual net metering, in large part due to targeted advocacy from D.C.’s community of solar supporters. This enables all D.C. residents to “subscribe” to a solar installation that is not on their property. The electricity produced by their subscription portion is credited on their monthly electric bill the same way it would be if the solar panels were on their roof.
We worked throughout 2013 and 2014 to change the Public Service Commission’s proposed rules that reduced the rate that community solar subscribers would be credited for their subscription. The rate the commission set unfairly harmed low-income participants by undervaluing the electricity they would generate through community solar. Our coalition filed comments refuting this interpretation and worked tirelessly to ensure the rules were revised. We were finally successful in 2017.