For the past couple of months a group of state regulators, utility executives, representatives of the state’s fledgling solar energy industry, and environmentalists have been meeting in Columbia trying to come together on a new plan that could determine the future of residential solar energy use in the state.
In 2014, a state law went into effect aimed at jump-starting solar. The law, known as Act 236, authorized a program known as net-metering, whereby electric customers installing solar at their homes could sell any excess power they produced back to their power company at a preferential rate allowing their power bills to be reduced. The incentives worked perhaps faster than most envisioned. Now the solar companies and the electric utilities are jostling for position in the alternative energy market.