Third-party financing eliminates the relatively high upfront costs associated with renewable energy projects. Through leases or power purchase agreements (PPAs), third-party financing makes ‘going solar’ an accessible option for low to middle-income homeowners, churches, government agencies, and nonprofits. On May 27, 2022, two petitions were filed at the Public Service Commission (PSC) seeking rulings to clarify the issue of third-party-financed renewable energy generation serving individual customers behind their meters. A favorable ruling will ensure Wisconsin residents and businesses have access to the same financing tools as those in twenty-eight other states with clear third-party financing rules.
Currently, Wisconsin case law allows for third-party financing of energy projects, but some electric utilities have denied interconnection to installations that would have been owned by third parties. They contend that such installations should be regulated as public utilities, even though they are designed to supply energy to only one entity: the host customer. In our view, a business that installs and operates energy equipment on a customer’s property for that customer’s exclusive use should not be regulated as a public utility.
PSC affirmation of third-party financing is essential to spreading the benefits of clean energy to all Wisconsin utility customers. If the PSC accepts these petitions, there will be an opportunity for anyone to submit comments on the petition to let the PSC know your position on the question.
Ask your legislators to support third-party financing in Wisconsin
Senator Rob Cowles (R – Green Bay) and Representative Rachael Cabral-Guevara (R – Appleton) are circulating legislation to clarify that using a lease, sometimes known as third-party financing, to acquire a solar array is legal in Wisconsin. Please contact your legislators and ask them to cosponsor this important bill!
Fill out the form below to customize a sample letter you can send to your legislators asking them for their support.
The deadline to cosponsor the bill is October 22ND, so please act quickly!
If you have any questions, please contact Jim Boullion, RENEW Wisconsin’s Director of Government Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call at (608) 695-7004
Thank you for helping to make Wisconsin a leader in renewable energy!