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Judge Sides With Solar Panel Users On Size Restrictions

PCS Argued Limit Was About Fairness To Other Customers

hans905 (CC-BY-NC-SA)

A Dane County judge said Monday the Public Service Commission hasn’t gathered enough evidence to support a new rule restricting the size of solar power installations that qualify for what’s known as net metering.

Net metering allows businesses, schools and churches with large arrays of solar panels to earn credits for electricity they don’t use but instead sell back to power companies. It’s an incentive for installing more solar panels in the state.

But utilities that backed the new restrictions argued it’s a subsidy that ratepayers who don’t have solar power end up paying for.

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Tyler Huebner of the group RENEW Wisconsin praised Judge Rhonda Lanford’s ruling this week, saying it calls on the PSC to prove the assertion or remove the size restrictions.

“That’s basically what the judge said is you can’t just make this claim without providing some spreadsheets , some detailed analysis of how this subsidy actually works,” Huebner said.

A spokesman for the PSC said the commission is reviewing the ruling and has not decided whether to appeal it.