Policy and Advocacy Intern
Small businesses are often excluded from policy dialogues – Massachusetts climate and energy policy-making is hardly an exception. The Climate Action Liaison Coalition ensures the recognition of small businesses as an equal actor in the development of such policies, enabling them to take targeted action on climate change by improving their internal sustainability, building community awareness, and advocating for clean energy and climate policy on state and municipal levels.
The most recent policy success, the enactment of An Act Relative to Net Metering and Solar Power (H.4185) (or the abridged, “net metering”), is integral to the expansion of solar deployments in the Commonwealth. Net Metering provides a mechanism for solar ratepayers to financially balance their renewable energy exports with utility imports – customers are only billed (or credited) for the difference between these two.
The original legislation established a cap on the total amount of potentially implementable net metering projects in Massachusetts. Alas, it was a cap our state had already surpassed. With an impending extension necessary, net metering surfaced as a contentious issue at the State House – pitting smaller community solar advocates against larger utility interests.
While the preceding bill called for the cap to be raised, amendments from and a strong push by the governor’s office greatly expanded and reformed the scope of solar incentives for the state. Regrettably though, the new bill language entails more threats on further solar developments in community and residential solar markets. Albeit some lost battles, CALC and allies settled on compromise and the state legislature delivered, setting into stone 1600 MW of renewable energy by 2020, sizably diversifying our state’s energy portfolio.