California PUC expands Virtual Net Metering to all multi-tenant buildings

In July of 2011, the CPUC issued a Decision that expanded Virtual Net Metering (VNM) beyond the low-income multi-family housing context to all multi-tenant and multi-metered properties. IREC and other stakeholders participated in workshops held by the Energy Division to explore implementation issues.

On April 19, 2012, the Commission approved Energy Division Resolution E-4481, approving the advice letters of the utilities that would implement the expanded VNM program. VNM will now apply to all multi-tenant and multi-meter properties, with the limitation that sharing of bill credits can only occur for accounts served by a single Service Delivery Point (SDP).

In the resolution, the CPUC agreed with solar stakeholders that a site assessment fee is duplicative of the Rule 21 interconnection process and prohibited an imposition of such a fee. Second, and perhaps most significantly, the final resolution recognized that the definition of SDP was too strict, and would exclude many multi-tenant properties from participating in expanded VNM. The Resolution therefore allows an exception to the single SDP rule where a customer owns the service extension facility that provides service multiple buildings and multiple

The CPUC’s expansion of VNM is a significant development in the growing market for distributed generation, promoting the benefits of Net Energy Metering to all multi-tenant and multi-meter properties. This decision is a critical step forward that signals to the public and to the retail solar development community that these expanded VNM tariffs are soon to be available. Most importantly, VNM extends Net Energy Metering benefits to renters or condominium owners who previously could not participate in this program.

Resolution E-4481 is available here.



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