States eye rooftop solar to lower energy costs, meet climate goals

Maryland Sen. Sarah Elfreth said her bill tilts the ‘incentives back towards the built environment.’
In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, a rooftop is covered with solar panels at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York. The Manhattan skyline is at top. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

States including California, Maryland and Georgia are exploring net metering and other legislation to encourage the installation of solar panels on rooftops, in an effort to reduce power bills and lower greenhouse-gas emissions from burning fossil fuels for electricity.

Net metering typically refers to a billing practice that allows consumers to send the excess energy generated by panels to the local grid in exchange for credits on monthly electric bills — providing financial incentive to use green energy.

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