North Carolina Utilities Commission Expands Net Metering Rules

NORTH CAROLINAOn March 31 the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) issued an order amending the state’s net metering rules. The NCUC ordered that renewable generators up to one MW may net meter with no aggregate limits on customer participation. The Commission also removed the previous requirement that net metering customers take service under Time of Use (TOU)-Demand rates, thereby allowing for full retail rate choice. According to the order however, if a customer chooses a tariff other than a TOU-Demand schedule, the customer must turn over ALL Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to the utility. The order allows customers on TOU-Demand rates to keep all RECs, even those associated with annual excess generation. Under previous rules, customer-generators were required to give up RECs associated with annual excess. Utilities are still prohibited from charging additional standby charges for residential systems up to 20 kW and non-residential systems up to 100 kW. Utilities are allowed to charge larger systems standby rates. During the course of the rulemaking, The North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association called the Commission’s attention to Dominion’s violation of the no standby charge ruling in the existing net metering tariff. The Commission Order specifies that Dominion remedy this violation.

The Commission also ordered Duke to increase system size eligibility in its Small Customer Generator (SCG) Rider tariff to 1 MW.

The previous regulation allowed for the net metering for residential systems up to 20 kW and 100 kW for non-residential systems and imposed a participation cap of 0.2% of each utility’s North Carolina retail peak load for the previous year. Net metering credits were allocated to the customer’s next bill at an applicable time-of-use rate or less and granted to the utility (annually) at the beginning of each summer. Very few customers ever took service under these terms because they were not a financially viable option to customer generators. Refer to Docket E-100, Sub 83 for more information


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