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Washington, D.C.

An arrow graphic shows that the District of Columbia's renewable portfolio standard is set at 50% in 2032.

Carve-out: 5% of retail sales must come from solar energy
Tracking system: PJM Generation Attribute Tracking System (PJM-GATS)

Washington DC's Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Amendment Act increased its RPS to 50% by 2032. Tier 1 requirement includes solar energy, indicating that solar RECs used to comply with the solar requirement may also be used to meet the Tier 1 requirement. Washington D.C.'s RPS solar carve-out and limited space for solar development have kept SREC prices high. Recent DC solar initiatives (e.g., the Solar Advantage Plus Program) have targeted low-income residents. Small businesses may be able to leverage resources from the DC Sustainable Energy Utility program. The District enacted community solar enabling legislation in 2013.

Net Metering

The District's net-metering policy became effective in May 2000. Net metering applies to residential and commercial customer-generators with systems powered by renewable-energy sources. DC's net-metering rules require that metering equipment must be capable of measuring the flow of electricity in two directions. Credits for monthly net excess generation (NEG) vary based on the size of the generator. Utilities must offer a standard net-metering contract approved by the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia (DCPSC).

System size limit: 1 MW for customer-owned generation; 5 MW limit for community renewable energy facilities

Aggregate cap: Not specified

Credit: Retail rate for systems less than 100 kW and generation rate for systems greater than 100 kW

RECs: Customers retain ownership of renewable energy certificates (RECs) unless indicated otherwise.

Meter aggregation: Virtual net metering is allowed for community solar.


The District's interconnection rules apply to all distributed systems 10 MW or smaller that are not subject to the interconnection rules of the PJM Interconnection. The rules set four levels of review for interconnection requests. The level of review required is generally based on system capacity, whether system components are certified, and the type of distribution circuit.

Eligible Systems Type of Interconnection

Certified, Inverter-based system ≤10 kW

Level 1 interconnection
Certified systems ≤ 2 MW Level 2 interconnection
Systems not exporting power to the grid (area networks: ≤50 kW; radial distribution networks: ≤10 MW) Level 3 interconnection
Systems ≤10 MW Level 4 interconnection

System size limit: 10 MW

Liability insurance: Facilities >1 MW must carry general liability insurance with coverage of a minimum $2 million per occurrence and $4 million in aggregate. The insurance policy also needs to list the utility as an additional insured party.

External disconnect switch: Vary by level (required for level 2, 3, and 4).

Third Party Ownership

Third party power purchase agreements are allowed in the District of Columbia.

Community Solar

DC allows community solar sales through Community Renewable Energy Facilities (CREFs). CREFs may be up to 5 MW and must have at least two subscribers. CREF subscribers can meet up to 120% of their electricity demand with CREF credits. CREF subscribers are compensated according to a "CREF credit rate," which currently reflects generation and distribution costs and excludes transmission costs. The CREF rate is lower than retail rate.

State Incentive Programs

Program Administrator Incentive

Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU)

District Department of Energy and Environment

In 2008, the District's Clean and Affordable Energy Act created the Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU). The SEU is operated by a coalition of private companies under contract to the District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). The SEU administers the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund (SETF), with annual funding of $20 million for various energy efficiency and clean energy initiatives. Businesses are not eligible for the program's solar PV incentives (available to income-qualified residents); however, businesses may leverage various SEU financial and technical resources during project development. The SEU disbursed $4.75 million in incentives to DC businesses in FY 2014.

Property Tax Incentives

The Office of Tax and Revenue

100% property tax exemption for solar energy systems and cogeneration systems.


The list below provides some resources for each type of policy or program. Please reference and contact relevant authorities and local utilities for the most up-to-date and accurate information on state and utility policies and incentive programs.

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Net metering and interconnection

Community solar

Programs and incentives