Net metering is a common distributed renewable energy policy in the United States, allowing individuals to “turn back” their meter (and reduce their electric bill) by generating on-site electricity. But utility accounting systems typically prevent people from sharing the output from a single, common solar or wind project.
Virtual (or group or neighborhood) net metering (now also called “shared renewables”) allows utility customers to share the electricity output from a single power project, typically in proportion to their ownership of the shared system. The following map illustrates which states (as of October 2013) support virtual net metering. See the August 2012 map here.