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New Report Shows How States Can Provide Cleaner, Cheaper Power - Today img-share-ph

December 11, 2007

New York - December 11, 2007 - /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being
issued by Network for New Energy Choices:

WHAT: NATIONAL PRESS CONFERENCE CALL & Release of Freeing the Grid 2007, a report authored by Network for New Energy Choices in association with three leading renewable energy groups: The Solar Alliance, Vote Solar Initiative and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. These partners, in the forefront of their field, bring with them more than 25 years of experience at pinpointing key conservation measures and renewable energy
generation innovations.

WHEN: 1 pm on Thursday, December 13th. The report will be released to the public at that same time. Journalists can download an embargoed copy in advance now at:

Please R.S.V.P. to participate in the call to Denise Hughes @ 917-549-2621, or [email protected].


Questions will be hosted via a chat forum throughout the call and will be answered, in order received at the end of the call. To pose a question participants can log on to and enter Access Code: 7269163.

WHY: With the price of a barrel of oil remaining volatile, the high cost of energy is on everyone's minds. A growing number of homeowners and small businesses have come to view net metering--which compensates customers for reducing demand and for producing clean energy where they live and work--as an important incentive.

By ranking and grading 39 states, Freeing the Grid discovered a growing consensus on how to make net metering work today:

  • By ranking state level policies on their effectiveness at encouraging net metering, successes and lessons learned can be pinpointed and experience shared across state lines. Top-rated states tended to, among other things, focus on goals rather than interests, allow monthly carryovers of excess electricity, reduce unnecessary and burdensome red tape and special fees and provide monetary incentives to encourage customers to install renewable energy systems.
  • The study also evaluated states' "interconnection standards." Top-ranked states enabled customer-generators to connect to the grid with minimal difficulty, set fair fees proportional to a project's size, simplified forms and made policies as transparent, uniform and public as possible.

The report also identifies these and other obstacles to effective reform:

  • The lowest ranked states essentially derailed net metering through bad policies, like restricting eligibility to a small selected subset of customers, preventing customers from receiving credit for electricity and charging discriminatory, unclear or exorbitant interconnection fees and "standby charges."
  • States with poorly crafted net metering and interconnection policies are essentially telling the clean energy industry--with its great potential for job creation--that they are "Closed for Business."

WHO: Key Report Contributors On the Call:

Michael Dworkin: Michael Dworkin serves as Director of the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School, and has also been a litigator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a management partner in an engineering firm, and a utility regulator. Professor Dworkin was chair of the Vermont Public Service Board from 1999 to 2005, and he chaired the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' (NARUC) Committee on Energy Resources & the Environment. Michael is now a non-utility trustee of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and an elected member of the board of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

Kyle Rabin: For Kyle's Bio, go to

James Rose: For James' Bio, go to

Claudine Schneider: Claudine Schneider has been recently selected to lead the Solar Alliance, a group of the world's largest solar manufacturers, installers and integrators. The focus of the Alliance is to assist state legislators, regulators and utilities develop policies that assure a sustainable solar market. Claudine Schneider served in the U.S. Congress (R - R.I.) from 1980 to 1990 on the Science, Research & Technology Committee where she authored numerous bills that advanced energy efficiency and renewables. After leaving Congress she co-founded Energia Global, an energy efficiency and renewable energy company. She has assisted the EPA in recruiting over 40 corporations to reduce their GHGs and has served as a consultant on renewable energy to the Export-Import Bank, National Grid Utility and the Wilder Hill New Energy Global Innovation Index Fund.

Adam Browning: Adam Browning is the co-founder and Executive Director for Vote Solar Initiative, a nonprofit organization working to bring solar energy into the mainstream. Vote Solar's primary focus is implementing the key policies, at the state level, necessary to building robust solar markets. Prior to Vote Solar, Mr. Browning spent 8 years with the US Environmental Protection Agency, winning the Agency's top award for pollution prevention efforts.

Jane Weissman: Jane Weissman has been the Executive Director of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) since 1994. IREC, a non profit organization formed in 1982, supports the adoption and implementation of uniform guidelines and standards, workforce development, and consumer protection. She has been working in the renewable energy field for over 20 years. Ms. Weissman is Vice Chair of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and a Board member of the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation. Ms. Weissman currently serves on the Solar Today Magazine Advisory Council and is the Chair of the Policy & Marketing Technical Committee for both the 2008 and 2009 National Solar Energy Conferences. Ms. Weissman has published papers and spoken widely on topics in the field of renewable energy, photovoltaics, public policy, workforce development and certification. She is the Chair of the 2008 Renewable Energy Workforce Education Conference.