IURC Seeking Comment on Net Metering Rules June 3rd May 25, 2010Posted by Laura Arnold in Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Net Metering, Uncategorized.
Tags: Indiana net metering regulations, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission
Initial public meeting will be held in Indianapolis
What: The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission is seeking comment on the existing net metering rules in Indiana Administrative Code 4-4.2-1. The public, media and other stakeholders are encouraged to share their thoughts and attend the Commission’s first public meeting that will be held in Indianapolis.
The format of the public meeting will include comments from interested parties and potentially follow-up questions by Commission representatives. The Commission is making itself available to listen and receive feedback from those who wish to speak about the existing rules and their experiences with them.
Although oral comments will be accepted by the Commission, it is recommended that participants also submit written comments so they can be logged and recorded for future reference. Forms will be made available at the meeting so that consumers can submit comments in writing.
When: The public meeting will be held on June 3, 2010 at 10:00 a.m.
*Two additional public meetings will be held outside of Indianapolis. Details will be forthcoming.
Where: The meeting will be held at the National City Center, 101 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN, 46204 in Judicial Courtroom 222.
Why: Since the establishment of the net metering rules in 2005, the Commission has reviewed their effectiveness and has monitored the annual net metering reports submitted by the utilities. The Commission would now like to elicit additional feedback from interested parties to determine whether the rules should be updated. [See excerpt below. ]
Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission
101 West Washington Street, Suite 1500 East
Indianapolis, IN 46204
From pages 3-4.
Suggested Standards for Consideration
Amendments to PURPA; Sec. 1251; amending 16 USC 2621(d) by adding (11) – Net Metering
“Each electric utility shall make available upon request net metering service to anyelectric consumer that the electric utility serves. For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘net metering service’ means service to an electric consumer under which electric energy generated by that electric consumer from an eligible on-site generating facility and delivered to the local distribution facilities may be used to offset electric energy provided by the electric utility to the electric consumer during the applicable billing period.”1
Net metering service as defined means service to an electric consumer under which electric energy generated by that electric consumer from an eligible on-site generating facility and delivered to the local distribution facilities may be used to offset electric energy provided by the electric utility to the electric consumer during the applicable billing period. Net metering serves as an incentive to the installation of eligible facilities by consumers. Without net metering a consumer with an installed generator could “stop” the metering when it was generating more electricity than it was consuming, while under net metering the same consumer can “run the meter backward” during such conditions and essentially create a savings bank of any excess energy it generates. This incentive provides an opportunity for an additional offset to the costs the specific consumer sees when they elect to become a partial generator of their own electrical needs.
The rules under which net metering is provided should strike a balance between providing an incentive to a specific participating consumer, protecting the legitimate financial and safety interests of the affected utility, and not creating unwarranted subsidies born by the non-participating consumers. The factors which define a net metering program are primarily any generator type and size limitations, class of customers allowed to participate, details of the billing process, interconnection costs and operation standards, and definition of the liabilities born by both the utility and the participating customer.
The vast majority of states have created rules which allow for net metering. The terms and conditions for the specific state programs vary widely and are generally reflective of the specific electricity regulatory environment of each state.
Indiana investor-owned utilities are required to offer net metering in accordance with 170 IAC 4-4.2, “Net Metering Rule”. The net metering rule was approved in October 2004 and provides an opportunity for residential customers and K-12 schools with solar, wind, or hydro-electric facilities with a nameplate capacity of 10 kW or less. A standard simplified interconnection would add no costs for utility analysis or inspections to the customer, any earned energy credits are carried forward indefinitely, and requires the customer to carry a nominal amount of insurance, $100,000, for related liability.
Status vs. EPAct05 Requirement
The EPAct05 suggested standard calls for net metering to be available to any electric utility customer. The recently completed Indiana rule making considered the full range of variables and determined through the process prescribed by IC 4-22-2 the applicable terms and conditions under which Indiana electric utilities must offer net metering to their customers.
Future Action Plan
None required; the recently completed rulemaking satisfies the EPAct05 requirement of considering this suggested standard.
1 In the context of PURPA, the IURC, with respect to each electric utility for which it has rate making authority, undertakes the consideration of the suggested standards.