HARTFORD, CONN. – May 12, 2021 – Connecticut solar industry leaders and municipalities are calling for changes to Connecticut’s laws to make it easier for cities and towns, state-entities, agricultural businesses, and critical facilities to benefit from reduced electricity costs while embracing clean energy. The solar industry is working with municipalities across the state to help them reduce electricity costs with clean energy through the expansion of the state’s Virtual Net Metering (VNM) program.
VNM allows cities and towns, state-owned buildings, and agriculture businesses to receive credits on their electric bills for excess energy produced by a solar project, even if the project is not located on their property. Since its 2011 launch in Connecticut, VNM has become popular among “off takers” because of the significant cost savings it provides to participants. In an average case, a 1 MW AC VNM solar project can help reduce energy bills by $50,000 per year or $1,000,000 over twenty years. In addition to reducing electricity costs, expanding VNM will create hundreds of new Connecticut jobs and help to increase the adoption of clean energy in Connecticut, which contributes to the state meeting its ambitious goal of a zero carbon emissions electric supply by 2040.
Unfortunately, in Connecticut, VNM has been constrained by state law which imposes an arbitrary cap on the number of credits that municipal, state, and agricultural customers can claim. As a result, there is a large backlog of cities, towns, and state-owned properties unable to take advantage of VNM’s cost-saving benefits, including: