Residential Solar Versus Utilities: Who Wins The Battle Over Net-Metering?

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Rooftop solar panels are increasingly popular and affordable, but solar accounts for less than one percent of American electricity.

MJ Monty, via Flickr (creative commons)

Rooftop solar panels are increasingly popular and affordable, but solar accounts for less than one percent of American electricity.

Residential solar in the U.S. grew 66 percent in 2015 over 2014, the largest annual growth rate to date. The solar surge worldwide was also fueled by falling prices:  between 2010 and 2015 the cost of solar photovoltaic panels dropped 80 percent. The rapid growth in residential solar has states from New York to Montana to Arizona wrestling with how to promote this renewable, distributed resource in a way that placates utilities challenged by integrating the power and apportioning the associated costs.

Reporter Matthew Frank of Mountain West News has this story about his own family’s experience with solar and net metering in Montana and how cost savings have played out for him, and for the utility.