South Dakota once carried the official moniker of “the Sunshine State,” and is one of only three states without net metering policies. But what does net metering have to do with sunshine and why has South Dakota, a state with a strong portfolio of renewable energy generation, not yet adopted net metering policies?
Simply, net metering is an incentive for the installation and use of solar photovoltaics (PV) for energy generation. Through the formalization of net metering policies, distributed generation customers — those producing solar energy at their homes or businesses — are more readily able to sell the excess energy generated back to the utility for use across the grid. This sale of power to the utility appears as a credit on the customer’s utility bill. This credit offsets the customer’s electricity consumption during the current month or across the year, depending on state guidelines.