November 12, 2015 | By Keith Martin in Washington, DC

Hawaii voted to modify its net metering program.

Under net metering, utility customers with rooftop solar panels receive credit against their utility bills for any surplus electricity they feed into the grid.

The state Public Utilities Commission voted in October to reduce the price at which such electricity is credited to roughly half what it was before. Sales to the grid will be at the wholesale rather than the retail electricity rate. Wholesale rates range from 15¢ to 28¢ a kilowatt hour, which is about half the retail rate. Residential customers will also have to pay a minimum monthly fee to the utility of $25, and commercial customers will have to pay $50, to help defray the cost of the grid.

The Alliance for Solar Choice asked a court in late October for a preliminary injunction to block implementation of the new rules.

The new rules do not apply to anyone who had solar panels on his roof or applied to install them by October 12. Forty-four US states currently have some form of net metering.