Grijalva, González-Colón Lead Bicameral Letter to Puerto Rico Oversight Board Urging Protection of Solar Net Metering

WASHINGTON – U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón (R-Puerto Rico) today sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter signed by 21 Members of Congress to the Financial Oversight and Management Board (FOMB) for Puerto Rico urging it to protect net metering on the island. Net metering makes household renewable energy sources, like rooftop solar, more affordable for families by ensuring they are reimbursed for the extra energy they produce but do not use. 

Recently, FOMB directed Governor Pedro Pierluisi and the Puerto Rico legislature to repeal Act 10, which effectively protects net metering through 2031. As the lawmakers write, net metering is essential to Puerto Rico’s clean energy goals and economic growth:

“Weakening or ending net metering in Puerto Rico could be devastating. Rooftop solar has added over 800 MW to an electric system whose demand is about 2,500-3,000 MW. As a result, residential solar technology is responsible for most of the progress the archipelago has made toward its ultimate goal of generating 100% renewable energy by 2050. Puerto Rico’s net metering and rooftop solar programs have successfully displaced energy that would otherwise be generated by imported fossil fuel, lowering overall costs for all ratepayers.”

The lawmakers also emphasized the importance of net metering for low-income and other vulnerable families in Puerto Rico:

“Making rooftop solar and battery storage systems less affordable could hurt the lowest-income people most. Should net metering be eliminated or weakened, the result would be a growing divide between those stuck with exorbitant energy prices from imported fossil fuels and those who can afford their own dependable solar and battery system. Slowing the adoption of rooftop solar and batteries would mean missed opportunities to leverage the private market to protect those most vulnerable to another hurricane's impacts.”

READ the full letter to FOMB.

Additional Background

Ranking Member Grijalva has championed renewable energy development, including the installation of rooftop solar and battery storage in Puerto Rico, which helps residents and local businesses keep the lights on in the aftermath of hurricanes and other natural disasters. For those with electric medical devices or medications requiring refrigeration, including people with disabilities, a reliable source of power can be lifesaving.

In October 2022, Ranking Member Grijalva led a 38-member letter to then-Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) requesting federal funding for rooftop solar and battery storage for low-income households and households with disabilities in Puerto Rico.

Following that request, the FY2024 government funding omnibus bill included $1 billion to establish DOE’s Puerto Rico Energy Resilience Fund (PR-ERF) to improve the resilience of Puerto Rico’s electric grid by purchasing and installing renewable energy, energy storage and other grid technologies for residents who are low-income or have a disability. DOE Secretary Granholm announced nearly $500 million in PR-ERF funding opportunities last summer.

Press Contact

Lindsay Gressard