Net Metering in North Carolina

The NC Utilities Commission is holding a public hearing tonight in Charlotte (Courtroom 6350, Mecklenburg County Courthouse, 832 E. 4th Street, Charlotte). They held one last Tuesday in Raleigh. I had the pleasure of hearing over a half dozen citizens express their need for solar power in their homes and businesses. It was encouraging to see so many people speak so passionately about a renewable resource. Unfortunately, they all expressed distaste for the current laws that make it not cost efficient for groups to supply their own energy. The basic request was “Please give me a reasonable return in my capital investment—if I am going to pay to install solar panels, don’t make me pay for putting energy into your grid.”

Improving the net metering standard is one of the most important steps North Carolina can take to open the door for individuals and small companies to participate in a clean energy economy. Net metering can:
Provide hedge against rising energy prices and increase energy security
Help grow businesses and create “green” jobs--- 1 Megawatt of installed solar PV supports 3-4 “green” jobs
Supply customers with clean energy
Increase the reliability for the electric grid during times when consumption is high
Improve our air and water quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The Utility Commission will be making changes to the current policy on net metering over the next week. If you can’t go to Charlotte tonight, email, call or write the commission today and ask for change!


  1. While setting a net metering standard is something that would have to be done at the state level, I am running for Congress to help bring federal leadership for a clean energy future that will bring good jobs to North Carolina. My opponent's 20th-century approach to energy issues is behind the times, and it is time for a change.

    I will support increased investment in energy alternatives, such as biofuels and the conversion of agricultural waste into energy. I also believe that the federal government should offer more tax incentives to businesses and consumers to promote energy efficiency. I support raising fuel economy standards for cars and trucks sold in the US, and I oppose drilling for oil in environmentally sensitive areas such as off North Carolina's coast.

    With the right policies in place, renewable fuels will become cheaper and more abundant than fossil fuels, and thus the market will prompt us to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels, ending our dependence on unstable parts of the world for our energy supply and reducing our contribution to climate change. I will work hard for such policies if I am elected to the US House of Representatives in the 6th District.

    - Teresa Sue Bratton, MD

  2. Hello.. I wanted to ask, especially for those of you who have solar panels installed on your home, roughly how much energy do you actually get out of those? Is it enough to power your whole house?