Regulating net metering in the United States: A landscape overview of states’ net metering policies and outcomes

Kathleen Marie Smith, Chris Koski, Saba Siddiki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Net metering offers a mechanism for encouraging the localized production of electricity from renewable energy sources. Net metering policymaking is delegated to the state level, affording states flexibility in identifying policy targets (i.e., who can participate in net metering programs and the technologies with which eligible participants can participate), policy instruments (i.e., limits on the amount of electricity eligible for net metering at the customer and programmatic level), and policy incentives (i.e., incentives for program participation). This paper provides a summary of the design of states’ net metering policies, in terms of policy targets, instruments, and incentives. Policy design information is juxtaposed with net metering outcome data to discern general patterns among the two. Among the patterns that emerge from the descriptive assessment of the designs of states’ net metering policies and net metering outcome data are: net metering policies vary significantly across states; a unique amalgam of legislative and regulatory actions in each state produces policies that may be similar, but just are not the same; cross-state comparisons reveal that some states offer a more hospitable environment for net metering than others; and policy design has varied impacts on policy outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106901
JournalElectricity Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Distributed electricity generation
  • Policy incentives
  • Policy instruments
  • Renewable energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Law
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Business and International Management


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