Net Metering? In South Dakota? You bet!

Right now, South Dakota is one of only a few states in this country that do not have a net metering policy. This year, the Community Energy Development Committee here at DRA aims to change that.

For over a year, this committee has been working to identify ways to promote home-grown, renewable energy in South Dakota. We’ve highlighted our members renewable energy projects, promoted energy efficiency, and we have been working on a plan to get a net metering policy passed in this year’s legislative session.

What is net metering? Well, it is is a billing arrangement that allows for the flow of electricity both to and from the customer through a single meter. When a customer generates their own electricity (through solar panels, wind turbines, etc) and their generation exceeds their use, electricity flows back to the grid, offsetting the electricity they’ve consumed. In effect, the customer is using the excess generation to offset electricity that would have been purchased at the retail rate.

The benefits to net metering are clear. It opens up the door to larger scale community energy projects, allows customers who are generating their own electricity to send the extra to their neighbors, and it promotes economic development around renewable energy business.

The Community Energy Development Committee has been working over the past three months to solidify the details that we will be proposing to legislators in the upcoming weeks. I’ll update this blog when we have a bill out there. In the meantime, contact your legislators and ask them to support net metering in South Dakota!

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Comments

  1. Bill Powers says:

    Since Net Metering has come up before, what are the objections? Who pays for the meter?

    • Hi Bill! The objections are usually focused around the argument that net metering pushes the expense for transmission lines and other maintenance to other customers, and that isn’t fair. We know there are not studies to back that up – in fact, net metering is actually a net benefit to the utility companies. I believe the meter would be paid for by the same party that pays for it now, since it would be the same meter used to track how much a customer is using.

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