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Federal, State & Regulatory Policy

Regardless of technology or size, every facet of the solar industry is affected by local, state and federal policy. SEIA is engaged with policymakers at the regulatory and legislative levels in Washington, D.C. and across the country to establish supportive policy frameworks that allow solar to compete in the marketplace and offer cost-competitive, reliable energy to consumers.

Rooftop Solar

Electricity produced at or near the point where it is used is called Distributed Generation (DG). Distributed solar energy can be located on rooftops or ground-mounted, and is typically connected to the local utility distribution grid. There are a wide variety of policies at the state and local level that impact distributed solar and its customers.

Spotlight: Net Metering

Net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to sell the electricity they aren't using back into the grid. Many states have passed net metering laws. In other states, utilities may offer net metering programs voluntarily or as a result of regulatory decisions. Differences between state legislation, regulatory decisions and implementation policies mean that the mechanism for compensating solar customers varies widely across the country.

Local Permitting
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Grid Modernization
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Utility Rate Design
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Rebates & Incentives
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Solar Access Rights
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Property-Assessed Clean Energy
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Utility-Scale Solar

Utility-scale solar has been generating reliable, clean energy with a stable fuel price for more than two decades. By enacting federal and state-level policies to accelerate the growth of utility-scale solar, we can create jobs nationwide and quickly diversify America’s energy portfolio.

Utility-Scale Solar Development

Utility-scale solar facilities and traditional power plants are constructed through a very similar process. Project developers work with financiers, solar technology suppliers, engineering firms, legal counsel, and others to identify appropriate sites for renewable energy projects, secure access to transmission infrastructure, interconnect facilities, and comply with government information reporting requirements. 

Renewable Energy Standards
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Land Use & Solar Development
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Transmission
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Habitat Conservation Planning
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Water Use Management
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Community Solar

Community solar has become a critical tool for bridging the gap between those who can and can't access local, affordable, clean energy.

Quick Facts

Regulatory Policy

With the rapid growth in solar energy deployment necessary to decarbonize our economy, the industry faces new and quickly evolving needs and challenges across a wide variety of federal regulatory agencies

Regulatory Policy Engagement

With the rapid growth in solar energy deployment necessary to decarbonize our economy, the industry faces new and quickly evolving needs and challenges across a wide variety of federal regulatory agencies. SEIA’s regulatory affairs experts are leading this charge by regularly and directly engaging with regulators, participating in dozens of rulemaking dockets across agencies, and, when necessary, litigating to protect industry’s interests in federal appeals courts.

Tax Policy

The U.S. has a long history of supporting energy infrastructure through the U.S. tax code. The market certainty provided by the long-term solar investment tax credit (ITC) has supported private investment in manufacturing and project construction, a vital part in meeting our nation's energy policy goals, driving cost-cutting innovation and job growth.

Solar Investment Tax Credit

The solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is one of the most important federal policy mechanisms to support the growth of solar energy in the United States. Since the ITC was enacted in 2006, the U.S. solar industry has grown by more than 10,000%. In 2015, SEIA successfully advocated for a multi-year extension of the credit, which has provided critical stability for businesses and investors.

Additional Policy Mechanisms

Federal DOE Appropriations
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Performance-Based Incentives
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Reverse Auction Mechanism
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Wholesale Distributed Generation
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Related News

Monday, Sep 19, 2022

Solar Industry Secures Extension of California Property Tax Exclusion

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 1340 into law yesterday, extending the state’s property tax exclusion for solar projects for two years and providing near-term certainty for America’s largest solar market. Following is statement from Rick Umoff, senior director and counsel, California, at the Solar Energy Industries Association:

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Tuesday, Aug 23, 2022

Extended Property Tax Exclusion Will Keep Clean Energy Investments in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Today, the California State Legislature approved a two-year extension of a property tax exclusion for solar projects, providing stability to solar companies facing significant uncertainty around project development as they work to help California meet its climate targets.

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Friday, Aug 12, 2022

Massachusetts Relaxes Net Metering Caps for Residential Solar in Major Climate Bill

Yesterday Governor Baker signed H5060, An Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind, into law. This wide-sweeping climate legislation relaxes the net metering cap for residential solar projects up to 25 kilowatts, establishes incentives for pollinator-friendly community solar and commercial and industrial projects and creates a new council that will proactively work to improve the state’s transmission and distribution grid planning. 

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