Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: The new policy is expected to lead to increased interest in renewable energy among consumers.

Under Costa Rica’s new distributed generation program, homes and companies can generate electricity using solar, hydro, biomass or wind. The pricing model for net metering, which will enable homes and businesses that generate their own electricity to store surplus in the grid, took effect in April 2016.

Environment and Energy Minister Edgar Gutiérrez announced the launch of the program, which will allow consumers who have solar panels or other renewable energy systems, but who are also connected to the grid, to save even more on monthly bills. Homes and businesses that produce renewable energy for self-consumption will pay interconnection tariffs approved by the Public Services Regulatory Authority. All power companies have set their tariffs and are ready to start offering interconnections to the national electricity grid. Under the new program, customers are authorized to send up to 49 percent of the energy they produce to the grid.

The program aims to promote the use of renewable energy and reduce monthly bills for consumers. It will also help power companies offset their production, transmission and administrative costs. The local market already offers several financing options for acquiring renewable energy systems; therefore, the government hopes many people soon will be joining the distributed generation program. Solar, hydro, biomass and wind energy will qualify for the program.