Massachusetts DPU issues net metering order (including rules for neighborhood systems)

MASSACHUSETTS – On June 26, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities issued an order which contains provisions for both net metering and neighborhood net metering.

The order specifies that all net metered systems, including neighborhood net metered systems, must be behind a customer meter. However, there needs to be only some minimal amount of load located on-site. Additionally, all net metered systems, including neighborhood net metered systems, may over-generate relative to on-site load. Regular net metered customers may either rollover credits in perpetuity, or allocate excess generation credits to other customers of the same distribution utility.

Neighborhood net metered customers must serve a minimum of 10 residential customers, but may serve additional residential and commercial customers beyond that. However, all customers served must be within the same municipality, ISO-NE load zone, and service territory of one distribution company.

For all net metered systems, including neighborhood net metered systems, the value of excess generation credits is monetized, i.e. credits are rolled over as a dollar credit, based on the rate class for which the host customer takes service, rather than a kWh credit. Net metered system credits are based on the fully bundled retail rate, excluding customer charges and a public goods-type charge, again based on the rate class for which the host customer takes service. Neighborhood net metered system credits are based on the fully bundled rate minus the distribution portion, the customer charges and a public goods-type charge, and are also based on the appropriate rate class.

Net metered and neighborhood net metered systems may be third-party owned and the order clarifies that an owner or operator of a net metering or neighborhood net metering facility should not be subject to regulation as a public utility.

Customers with systems under 60 kW are protected from special charges including standby fees and insurance requirements. The final regulations also clarify that RECs are not transferred to a utility.

Please refer to docket 08-75 on the DPU website.

 

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