December 2011 Connecting to the Grid Newsletter



Note from the Editor

Net Metering for $200?

If you were to pit a smart meter against an electro-mechanical meter in a game of Jeopardy, I imagine the smart meter would probably win the game.  But would it win in every category? Since there has been so much in the news about smart meters in the last few years, I decided to do a little reading on the topic and see what studies have been done on “smart” net metering.

First, I started with a quick refresher on how meters work.  Electricity meters measure the instantaneous voltage and current (in amps, or I) and use the product of these to provide readings of instantaneous electrical power (watts). Remember Ohm’s Law from high school physics class (V x I = W)?   Electro-mechanical meters operate by counting the revolutions of an aluminum disc, designed to rotate at a speed proportional to the power being pulled from (or pushed to) the grid.  (Aside: I also discovered that Samuel Gardiner was the first person to take out a patent on an electricity meter, a DC lamp-hour meter, in 1872.)

[Continued in Newsletter]

State News in Detail


Northeast States

Massachusetts DPU plans for interconnection updates


Mid-Atlantic States        

New Jersey BPU to vote on revenue-grade meter requirement

Virginia SCC approves controversial net metering standby fee

West Virginia PSC decides the fate of PURPA renewable energy credits


Midwestern States        

Advanced Renewables Tariff now available to some Michigan customers

Indiana utility-advocacy partnership proves successful for feed-in tariff improvements


Southern States           

Gainesville, FL gets recognized for per capita solar


Western States             

California Energy Commission seeks comments on Energy Policy Report


Other States                 

Hawaii PUC decision a victory for interconnection


Upcoming Events


Miscellaneous News

DOE announces Solar Roof Challenge recipients

Spain allows net metering for small solar facilities

DOE Launches Initiative To Advance Clean Energy Development On Tribal Lands

Industrial DG expected to grow 46-85% in the coming years



Download the full newsletter as a PDF:  December 2011 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). Click here to subscribe.

Editor: Laurel Varnado


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