May 2010 Connecting to the Grid Newsletter


Note from the Editor

TOU Rates: The devil (can be) in the details

Solar net metering customers face several decisions in setting up their systems but few are as important as the electric utility rate under which they choose to take service. This choice can make the difference between a reasonable investment and a less financially prudent one.  In most states net-metering customers can stay on their current rate or switch to a different one and, in fact, best practices dictate that net-metering customers should not face so-called rate discrimination.  A few states and utilities around the country however, effectively make the choice for net metering customers through restrictive rate design.   For example, North Carolina’s net metering rules stipulate that customers may only claim RECs if the customer is on a TOU rate, which is generally less favorable for NC net-metering customers.

Some questions that are relevant in choosing a rate for net metering include:

1)            What are the definitions of on-peak vs. off-peak?  Does this information change from season to season and is it readily accessible to the customer?   [Continued in Newsletter]

State News in Detail

Northeast States                       

Connecticut DPUC adopts network interconnection decision      

Massachusetts distribution companies considering moratorium on renewable energy interconnections

Mid-Atlantic States       

Maryland takes a big risk with net metering        

Virginia SCC adopts final rules for net metering 

West Virginia could see a vast improvement in net metering

Midwestern States        

Indiana Commission studying an increase in net metering

Kansas Commission issues proposed net metering rules

Wisconsin Governor creates clean energy consortium

Southern States                              

Florida PSC recommends approving interconnection and net metering changes for several utilities

Western States               

California PUC votes against out-of-state RECs  

Colorado’s Xcel Energy may ramp down solar energy purchases               

Nevada third-party ownership regulations go into effect              

Oregon PUC still mulling over rate-setting           

Utah interconnection rules become effective and net metering rules are expanded

Other States                       

Alaska net metering rules adopted; interconnection still under way

Miscellaneous News and Events

UL announces new PV certification program

NREL announces leading utilities for green power

NYC working on solar web tool

2009 saw global PV growth of 15%

Download the full newsletter as a PDF: May 2010 Connecting to the Grid Newsletter


While customer-sited net metering and interconnection policies are primarily addressed at the state level, they are also becoming important on a regional basis. This newsletter has been designed to provide state-level policy updates and capture emerging regional trends. Connecting to the Grid is a free, electronic newsletter published each month by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) and the North Carolina Solar Center at North Carolina State University. Click here to subscribe.

Editor: Laurel Varnado
NC Solar Center, NC State University


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