SOUTH CAROLINA – PSC to Accept Utility Net Metering Tariffs on Experimental Basis

On May 28, 2008, the South Carolina Public Service Commission issued a directive in the state’s net metering Docket 2005-385-E which stated that it will accept the proposed utility tariffs for net metering on an experimental basis until further direction is given from the legislature in 2009 (see details below). These tariffs will become effective on July 1, 2008. The only additional requirement for the utilities, at this time, is to make clear explanations of their net metering tariffs available to the public through their websites, brochures, and customer service personnel.

On May 13, 2008, Governor Mark Sanford signed a joint legislative resolution (H.B. 3395 / S.B. 684 / R.247) regarding net metering. This resolution requires the PSC staff and the State Energy Office to draft a report for the legislature by January 1, 2009 regarding the establishment of net metering programs at all of the state’s utilities. The report must make recommendations consistent with the requirements of the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 and must facilitate uniformity with net metering policies in neighboring states. In developing this report, the SC PSC must consult with the state’s utilities, including cooperatives and municipals; the State Consumer Advocate; environmental interests; and, other interested parties.

The PSC will likely include this required net metering investigation in its existing Docket 2005-385-E, which was opened to gather public commentary on the net metering tariffs filed by the state’s investor-owned utilities. These tariffs were filed in compliance with PSC Order 2007-618, dated August 2007. This 2007 order adopted a net metering program identical to North Carolina’s, with one exception—the SC tariffs will allow residential and small commercial customers to purchase utility power at a flat kWh rate, but sell power to the utility on a peak/off peak or real-time pricing basis.

 

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