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Richmond Power and Light to Consider So-called “Net Metering” Ordinance Nov. 15th November 13, 2010

Posted by Laura Arnold in Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Net Metering, Uncategorized.
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Editor’s note: The Richmond newspaper Palladium-Item reported earlier this week that Richmond Power and Light (RP&L) is considering adopting a so-called net metering ordinance on Monday, Nov. 15th. Sorry but what I’ve read so far in the Palladium-Item this is not real net metering but what I call “net billing”.  The newspaper article below unfortunately confuses or misdefines this RP&L proposal as allowing customers to sell excess electricity back into the grid. That also is not net metering. Net metering is normally defined as a credit on the customer’s electric bill for any net excess generation (NEG). 

IDEA’s definition of net metering is a billing arrangement between a utility company and a customer – with a gridtied, renewable energy system – where one (1) kilowatt hour generated by the customer has the same value as one (1) kilowatt hour consumed by the customer.

It is important to make this distinction because there are electric utilities in Indiana such as Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL) that now offers a feed-in tariff under Rate REP in which they will actually purchase power from selected renewable energy producers. Northern Indiana Public Service Commission (NIPSCO)  has a similar feed-in tariff proposal pending before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) called Experimental Rate 849.

This is also different than selling electricity back into the grid under the Public Utilities Regulatory Act (PURPA) of 1978 at the utility’s “avoided cost”.

Your thoughts and comments please.

Original Article: http://www.pal-item.com/article/20101108/NEWS01/11080320

Utility considers allowing customers with wind, solar power or generators to sell power back

By Pam Tharp • Correspondent • November 8, 2010

Richmond Power & Light customers who also generate their own power might soon be able to sell extra kilowatts to RP&L.

Customers with wind or solar power systems or generators could sell their excess power back to the electrical grid if RP&L adopts a net metering ordinance, RP&L general manager Steve Saum said. The RP&L board will review a proposed ordinance for net metering at its Nov. 15 meeting.

The amount of electricity a customer could sell to the grid is limited to 10 kilowatts at any one time. Customers with higher generation capacity would need an agreement with the Indiana Municipal Power Agency, Saum said.

RP&L charges its customers 7.5 to 8 cents per kilowatt hour. Customers with extra power to sell would be paid at half of that rate, about 4.5 cents, because the higher rate includes the utility’s fixed costs for line maintenance and overhead, Saum said. -MORE-

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Comments»

1. Tom Karas - January 29, 2011

Good Morning, I am a Feed-in Tariff advocate in Michigan and learned of FITs in Indiana from my friends at Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago. In reading the above, I would like to ask if muni’s in Indiana need to have any FIT program approved by a higher authority such as your IRUC, or is that just a review process?

And can you explain the motivation for the muni’s taking this action? public request? smart planning? recognition of way to diversify portfolio? interest in local generation???? thanks

Laura Arnold - February 7, 2011

Tom,

The answer to your question about muni’s in Indiana is it depends. State law provides that muni’s can opt out of IURC jurisdiction for rate regulation and many have done so. Many others have choosen not to opt out of IURC jurisdiction and therefore, they are required to file and receive approval from the IURC. I really can’t answer your second round of questions at this point. Why don’t you ask them? After my blog post I called and tried to talk to someone at Richmond Power & Light. They weren’t very helpful.


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