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Virtual Net Metering

| Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 18, 2016 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

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



California Multi-tenant properties, local governments
Connecticut Municipal, state, or ag. customers only
Dist. of Columbia All customers
Maine All customers
Maryland Allowed for agricultural customers, non-profit organizations, and municipal governments or their affiliates
Massachusetts All customers
New Hampshire All customers
Pennsylvania All customers, within 2 miles
Rhode Island Local and state governments
Vermont All customers


Colorado IOU customers; solar only
Delaware All customers; solar only
Minnesota Xcel Energy customers only
New York Launched October 2015
Wisconsin NSP customers only


Illinois Utility choice to offer

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