Distributed Solar Utility Tariff and Revenue Impact Analysis: A Guidebook for International Practitioners

Owen Zinaman, Naim Darghouth

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Depending on a range of technical, economic, policy, regulatory, and market-related factors, the adoption of DPV may have a net positive or negative financial impact on utilities and ratepayers. This guidebook provides a methodological approach for quantifying the net financial impact of DPV on utilities (in the form of “net revenue losses”) and ratepayers (in the form of “net tariff impacts”). Written for technical staff at utilities, regulatory bodies, energy ministries, research institutes, and civil society organizations who wish to better understand the financial impacts of DPV in their jurisdiction, this guidebook can be used to inform important decisions regarding DPV compensation, tariff design, and regulatory cost allocations, among other aspects. It is focused exclusively on customer-sited DPV systems and adopts a primarily cost-based (as opposed to an equally valid value-based) perspective to understanding DPV financial impacts. The approach for calculating net revenue losses can be applied in nearly any utility jurisdiction, regardless of institutional arrangements, business models, or regulatory paradigms.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages61
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-7A40-78058


  • costs and benefits
  • distributed solar
  • DPV
  • DPV analysis
  • DPV financial impacts
  • greening the grid
  • rate design
  • ratemaking
  • renewable energy
  • renewable energy tariff design
  • solar compensation
  • solar photovoltaics
  • solar PV
  • solar review impact
  • solar tariff design
  • solar tariff impact
  • utility financial impact
  • value drivers
  • value of solar


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