Virtual Net Metering

Date: 18 Nov 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Net metering is a common distributed renewable energy policy in the United States, allowing individuals to “turn back” their meter (and reduce their electric bill) by generating on-site electricity. But utility accounting systems typically prevent people from sharing the output from a single, common solar or wind project.

Virtual (or group or neighborhood) net metering (now also called “shared renewables”) allows utility customers to share the electricity output from a single power project, typically in proportion to their ownership of the shared system. The following map illustrates which states (as of October 2015) support virtual net metering. See previous maps here: February 2014, October 2013, August 2012.

16 states with virtual net metering transparent



CaliforniaMulti-tenant properties, local governments
ConnecticutMunicipal, state, or ag. customers only
Dist. of ColumbiaAll customers
MaineAll customers
MarylandAllowed for agricultural customers, non-profit organizations, and municipal governments or their affiliates
MassachusettsAll customers
New HampshireAll customers
PennsylvaniaAll customers, within 2 miles
Rhode IslandLocal and state governments
VermontAll customers


ColoradoIOU customers; solar only
DelawareAll customers; solar only
MinnesotaXcel Energy customers only
New YorkLaunched October 2015
WisconsinNSP customers only


IllinoisUtility choice to offer

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John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power.