New York, NY, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- October 24, 2011 - Net metering activities have continued to expand in the United States, with 17 states now having top rated net metering policies, up from 15 a year ago, according to the latest edition of the Network for New Energy Choices’ annual survey.

Further, 23 states now have top rated interconnection policies – which rates the ease with which customers are able to participate in net metering programs – up from twenty in 2010.

The NNEC’s annual “Freeing the Grid” reports that Massachusetts and Utah have received top “A” grades in both policy categories for the second year in a row. Now in 2011 they are joined at the vanguard of best practices by Delaware, which made particularly impressive improvements to its interconnection practices from last year’s “F” grade.

However, the most improved state over the year was Indiana, which moved from a “D” in net metering and “C” in interconnection in 2010 to “B”s in both categories this year.

A number of states also show promise, receiving an “A” in one category and a “B” in the other. Among these are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

“The age of grid parity is upon us – in some places in the country, you can generate your own electricity with solar and wind more cheaply than buying dirty power from your utility,” said Kyle Rabin, executive director of the NNEC.  “It’s truly the democratization of energy, but it only works if you have access to the plug and if you get fair credit for generation. Ensuring that residents and business have fair access to the grid and get fair credit on their utility bills are two simple but highly effective ways to unleash renewable energy growth.”

Freeing the Grid was produced by the NNEC in partnership with Vote Solar, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), and the North Carolina Solar Center.

According to the report, California continues to have the greatest installed capacity of grid connected PV with 28 percent in 2010, followed by New Jersey (15 percent), Nevada (8 percent), and Arizona and Colorado (7 percent each).