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Net metering changes allow Ashland residents to build community and offsite solar projects

City of Ashland has expanded its net metering resolution, opening the door for residents to build a new class of solar projects. The changes begin a "virtual net metering" policy which allows energy produced at one electric meter to be credited toward another meter, or group of meters in Ashland.
 
Residents, businesses, and community groups that purchase power from the City of Ashland can now install solar anywhere within city limits and receive all of the energy benefits on their utility bill. Under the new rules, participating customers will receive a one kilowatt-hour credit on their bill for each kilowatt-hour generated, up to their total annual consumption during the solar year (April 1 through March 31).
 
The new policy opens several new avenues of solar development. For example:
 
  • Community solar projects: groups of residents or businesses may share in the production of a combined solar installation.
  • Affordable and equitable renewables: residents and business who lease property can utilize renewables without needing to make changes to their building.
  • Meter aggregation: property owners with poor solar access can now seek out other locations to install solar where there is better solar access.
  • Leasing opportunities: Owners of large rooftops or other under-utilized space may profit from leasing that area for solar development.
 
Approximately half of the buildings in Ashland have enough shade that installing solar on-site does not make sense. With the new policy change, Ashland electric ratepayers can look for a sunnier place to install – down the street or across town. Installing solar offsite solar opens up many new options for solar development. What’s more, group-owned projects offer much better economy of scale.
 
Local business owner Kirpal Khalsa of Oregon Solarworks said of the new resolution:
 
“It is great to see such a progressive and positive policy coming from the City of Ashland. It is a clear example of local government working with their community to encourage positive environmental stewardship and progressive social policy. The City of Ashland is once again on the leading edge of solar policy. Ashland is empowering their citizens to create a brighter future and putting our local resources within reach of all its residents.”

The City of Ashland is expanding resources and support for cleaner energy sources as part of its Climate and Energy Action Plan, which aims to reduce Ashland’s contribution to global carbon pollution and prepare the city for climate change impacts.
 
Ashland’s Climate Vision for 2050 is to be a resilient community that has zero net greenhouse gas emissions, embraces equity, protects healthy ecosystems, and creates opportunities for future generations. Read more about City of Ashland’s Climate and Energy Action Plan at www.ashland.or.us/climateplan.
 
 
For more information, contact:
Larry Giardina
Conservation Analyst
City of Ashland
541 552-2065, TTY 800-735-2900
giardin@ashland.or.us

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