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Net Metering

Last Review: 2013-04-03
Incentive Type: Net Metering
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: CHP/Cogeneration, Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Geothermal Electric, Fuel Cells, Hydrogen, Anaerobic Digestion, Small Hydroelectric, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels
Applicable Sectors: Commercial
Website: http://www.energy.utah.gov/renewable_energy/renewable_incentives.htm


Utah law requires their only investor-owned utility, Rocky Mountain Power (RMP), and most electric cooperatives* to offer net metering to customers who generate electricity using solar energy, wind energy, hydropower, hydrogen, biomass, landfill gas or geothermal energy. Net metering is available for residential systems up to 25 kilowatts (kW) in capacity and non-residential systems up to two megawatts (MW) in capacity. HB 145 of 2010 broadened the definition of a customer generation system to remove a requirement that the system be owned or leased by the utility customer. 

Any net excess generation at the end of an annualized billing period will expire. Utah Code § 54-15-102 originally defined the annualized billing period as a 12-month billing cycle beginning on April 1 of one year and ending on March 31 of the following year. HB 284 of 2013 amended the definition to allow utilities to establish one additional annualized billing period. 

The Public Service Commission (PSC) has regulatory authority over RMP and was authorized by the state legislature to change certain aspects of their net metering rules, but the PSC does not have authority over the cooperative utilities. As a result, a February 2009 order issued by the PSC changed some of the net metering rules for RMP, but the cooperatives are not obligated to adopt them and may continue offering net metering under the minimum terms established by the state legislature. 

Rocky Mountain Power
The PSC's February 2009 ruling raised the aggregate enrollment capacity for RMP from 0.1% to 20% of the utility's 2007 peak demand. In establishing a significantly higher enrollment limit, the PSC also requires RMP to submit an annual net metering report, due by April 30 of every year, informing the commission of the number of net-metered systems, the capacity of each installation, the total capacity of net metering systems, and any problems or barriers with the net-metering tariff.

For residential and small commercial customers, RMP will issue a kWh credit (at the retail rate) for monthly net excess generation produced by the net metering facility and apply that credit to the next billing period. Per HB 284 referenced above, RMP opted to make their additional billing cycle run from September to October for irrigation customers on Schedule 10. 

Large commercial and industrial customers with demand charges that generate excess generation will be given a choice between valuing excess generation at an avoided cost based rate; or valuing excess generation at an alternative rate based on utility revenue and sales contained in FERC Form No. 1.

The PSC also ruled that net metering customers are not exempt from the minimum bill charge that all customers must pay. If a net metering customer has multiple meters at one location or an adjacent location, the meters may be aggregated for billing purposes. The customer must notify the utility of the order in which they want the kWh credits to be applied to the meters. The PSC also clarified in its ruling that all renewable energy credits associated with the electricity produced by the system remain with the customer.

Click here for Rocky Mountain Power's interconnection agreement and application for net metering service.

Electric Cooperatives
If a customer generates more electricity than the customer uses during a billing period, then the utility must credit the customer for the net excess generation (NEG) at a rate equal to the utility's avoided cost or higher. Customer NEG is carried over to the next customer's next monthly bill during a 12-month period. Any customer NEG remaining at the end of an annualized period is granted to the utility. Cooperatives are obligated to provide net metering until net metered systems account for 0.1% of the utility's 2007 peak demand.

Electric cooperatives may not levy additional charges unless authorized by its board of directors. Members of a cooperative who disagree with the charges approved by the board of directors may file a complaint with the PSC after filing a complaint with the cooperative’s board or directors.

* Beginning in March 2008, electric cooperatives serving fewer than 1,000 customers in Utah may discontinue making net metering available to customers that are not already net metering. In addition, electric cooperatives not headquartered in Utah that serve fewer than 5,000 customers in Utah are authorized to offer net metering to their Utah customers in accordance with a tariff, schedule or other requirement of the appropriate authority in the state in which the co-op's headquarters are located.

Becky Wilson
Utah Public Service Commission
160 East 300 South

Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Phone:(801) 530-6770 Ext.
Phone 2:()
Email: rlwilson@utah.gov
Web site: http://www.psc.state.ut.us/


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