Research Local Incentive Programs

From Open Energy Information


Community Wind Handbook

Research Local Incentive Programs

Costs associated with small community wind projects can be offset if owners can take advantage of incentives for small wind installations. One important incentive for small wind installations is net metering.

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency's Net Metering Policies summary map is updated quarterly to reflect current net metering policies in the United States.

Net metering allows the electric meters of small wind turbine project owners to turn backward when the project produces more energy than the customer uses. Net metering programs vary by state and by utility company. Net metering also enables customers to use the energy they produce to offset consumption over an entire billing period, not just instantaneously. This offset enables customers with generating facilities to receive retail prices for more of the electricity they generate.

Net metering programs specify a method to handle the net excess generation in terms of compensation for electricity and/or defining the period of time allowed for net excess generation credit. Net metering requirements that define net excess generation on a monthly basis only allow consumers to receive credit for their excess that month. When net metering rules allow for annual net excess generation, the credit can be carried for up to a year. Since most of North America sees more wind in the winter than in the summer, people using wind energy to displace a large load in the summer (like air conditioning or irrigation water pumping) may find it beneficial to have an annual credit that allows them to produce net excess generation in the winter and receive credits in the summer.[1]

If you are interested in installing a small community wind project, it is important to ensure that your state’s net metering rules cover your utility. Some states’ regulations concern only investor-owned utilities and do not include rural electric cooperatives or municipal electric utilities.[2]

To research your state’s net metering rules, check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE).


  1.  "Interstate Renewable Energy Council. The Intersection of Net Metering & Retail Choice: An Overview of Policy, Practice, & Issues"