Delaware PSC issues propsed rules for community net metering

On April 19, 2011 the Delaware Public Service Commission issued Order 7946, proposing revised net metering rules.  In October, 2010, the PSC gave notice that it proposed to change the net metering provisions in its Regulations in light of July, 2010 legislative amendments to the underlying net metering statute further proposed rule revisions implement a July 2010 law.

This recent proposal is intended to reflect the issues raised by participants in filed comments and workshop discussions, as well as include additional modifications, clarifications, and revisions to incorporate existing provisions in the statutes.  The Commission approved Staff’s proposed further revisions in Order No. 7946 in Docket No. 49, published April 27, 2011 in the Delaware Register.

The proposal: (1) allows retail electric customers to aggregate multiple individual metered accounts beyond the account/meter serving the generation facility for purposes of allocating net metering credits and (2) allows retail customers, through aggregation of accounts or by investment, to obtain net metering benefits via community-owned generating facilities. In addition, the further revised proposed provisions allow Delmarva Power & Light Company (DP&L) the opportunity to utilize an alternative value to calculate the level of payment for excess net metering credits in the context of community-owned generation facilities. Finally, the further proposed revisions allow DP&L to recover from stand-alone community-owned generation facilities a customer charge and other applicable charges related to supply, transmission, and delivery costs.


The order defines a community energy facility as a renewable energy generating facility that has subscribers who share the energy production of the community energy facility, which may be located either as a stand-alone facility or behind the meter of a subscriber.


Net Metering can occur in three circumstances as follows:


Condition 1 – Individual Customer/Single Account/Single Premise where all net metering activity occurs at a single customer premise for a single customer account (i.e. traditional net metering)

Condition 2 – Individual Customer/Multiple Accounts/Single or Multiple Premises where a single customer can aggregate net metering for crediting to multiple accounts and/or premises; and

Condition 3 – Host Customer/Multiple Subscribers/Multiple Premises where a community facility, either behind the meter of a subscriber or as a stand-alone facility, provides net Metering for multiple subscribers and multiple premises.


A community is defined as a group of customers sharing a unique set of interests.  For DP&L, all customers must be located in DP&L service territory.  Subscribers to community energy facilities will be credited as follows:


  •                   During a billing period where the host customer has net excess generation, subscribers not located on the same distribution feeder as the community facility will be credited in kWh valued at the supply service charges according to each account’s rate schedule;


  •                  If the host customer and subscribers are located on the same distribution feeder as the community facility, they will be credited in kWh valued at the sum of volumetric energy (kWh) components of the delivery service charges and supply service charges for residential Customers or the sum of the volumetric energy (kWh) components of the delivery service charges and supply service charges for non-residential customers. Any excess energy after crediting subscribers during a billing period shall be credited in subsequent billing periods;


  •                 At the end of the annualized billing period, a host customer may request a payment from the electric supplier for any excess kWh credits. The payment would be calculated by multiplying the excess kWh credits by the supply service charge of the host customer of the community facility. If less than $25, the payment may be issued as a bill credit on the host customer’s next bill;


  •                As an alternative to monthly rollover, at the end of each monthly billing period DP&L may elect to make payment to the Host Customer of the Community Energy Facility for the value of the generated electricity as established by the Public Service Commission. DP&L may also require that customers participating in a Community Energy Facility have their meters read on the same billing cycle.


Subscribers to a community facility retain ownership of renewable energy credits.


If a customer has multiple meters under the same account or different accounts, regardless of the physical location and rate class, the customer may aggregate meters for the purpose of net metering regardless of which individual meter receives energy from a distributed generation facility, provided the system does not exceed 110% of the customer’s aggregate electrical consumption of the individual meters or accounts that the customer is entitled to aggregate. The customer may change its list of aggregated meters no more than once annually.  Net metering credits will be applied first to the meter through which the DG facility supplies electricity, then through the remaining meters for the customer’s accounts according to the rank order specified by the customer.


The rules specify that electric suppliers’ interconnection rules should be developed by using the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc.’s Model Interconnection Rules and best practices identified by the U.S. Department of Energy. Electric Suppliers may not require eligible net metering customers who meet all applicable safety and performance standards to install excessive controls, perform or pay for unnecessary tests, or purchase excessive liability insurance.


The order requires any comments to be filed by June 1, 2011 with a hearing scheduled for June 7, 2011.


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