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.
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.
Featured Rooftop Solar Resources
Local PermittingLearn More
Grid ModernizationLearn More
Utility Rate DesignLearn More
Rebates & IncentivesLearn More
Solar Access RightsLearn More
Property-Assessed Clean EnergyLearn More
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 StandardsLearn More
Land Use & Solar DevelopmentLearn More
Habitat Conservation PlanningLearn More
Water Use ManagementLearn More
Community solar has become a critical tool for bridging the gap between those who can and can't access local, affordable, clean energy.
- There are 40 states with at least one community solar project on-line, with 1,523 cumulative megawatts installed through 2018.
- At least 19 states and D.C. have recognized the benefits of shared renewables by encouraging their growth through policy and programs.
- The next five years will see the U.S. community solar market add as much as 3.5 gigawatts. A single MW of solar powers 190 homes; 3.5 GW will be able to power roughly 700,000 homes.
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.
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 Tax Policy Resources
Additional Policy Mechanisms
Federal DOE AppropriationsLearn More
Performance-Based IncentivesLearn More
Reverse Auction MechanismLearn More
Wholesale Distributed GenerationLearn More
Georgia PSC Vote Prioritizes Utility Profits Over Residents and Solar Customers
ATLANTA and WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) voted on a final order in the Georgia Power Company (GPC) rate case. The order fails to expand the successful rooftop solar pilot program that the PSC created in 2020.
Solar and Storage Industry Statement on CPUC's Revised Net Metering Proposal
SACRAMENTO and WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) revealed its revised proposal to change the state’s net metering rules. Following is a statement from Sean Gallagher, vice president of state and regulatory affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA):
New Jersey Takes Step Forward With Launch of Large-Scale Solar Program
TRENTON, N.J. and WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) released highly anticipated guidelines for the state’s Competitive Solar Incentive Program (CSI). The new program design details will help ensure New Jersey continues to make progress on clean energy and offer a positive path forward for competitive solar and storage deployment in the Garden State.