Virginia SCC approves controversial net metering standby fee

Any residential customer of Dominion Virginia Power who owns and operates certain net-metered electric generation systems of 10 kilowatts or larger will pay a monthly standby charge as authorized by state law during the 2011 session of the General Assembly. The State Corporation Commission (SCC) has approved a standby charge methodology that allows the company to recover its transmission and distribution costs since those customers still make use of electric grid.

Through Case number PUE-2011-00088, Dominion Power sought approval of a standby charge consisting of a $2.79 per kilowatt distribution-related component, a $1.40 per kilowatt transmission-related component, and a $0.00 per kilowatt generation-related “placeholder” component. In approving the methodology, the Commission stated in its final order that, “the evidence in this record indicates that any avoided cost benefits provided by customer-generators, at least in terms of the transmission and distribution grid, are insufficient to pay for their proportionate share of the grid.”

The Commission did not approve the company’s request for a generation component of the standby charge. Although the company wanted that component to be set at $0 for now, the Commission directed the company file a future request that evaluates both the generation costs and benefits associated with serving eligible customer-generators.

The Commission also encourages the consideration and adoption of alternative methodologies in subsequent proceedings that could mitigate the standby charge by weighing the potential avoided costs and benefits to the company from having net-metered customer-generators selling energy and capacity back into the company’s system.

Source: Virginia SCC Press Release


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