On June 15, 2012, by Order No. 6 in Docket No. 12-001-R, the Arkansas Public Service Commission, amended the state’s Net Metering Rules to allow governmental entities to interconnect renewable energy facilities for net metering without being required to sign an agreement to indemnify public utilities or to purchase insurance. Participants in this proceeding also commented on the issue of whether a customer should be able to count the production of energy by a net metering facility against the consumption measured at more than one of the customer’s meters. Order No. 6 indicated that the Commission would further address this issue in another docket.
In August, the Arkansas PSC opened a docket (12-060-R) to consider whether Arkansas statutes authorize the Commission to establish aggregate metering and/or billing for the purpose of net-metering and whether meter aggregation is in the public interest. This opening order also invited parties to comment on a “strawman” example of meter aggregation rules, based on Model Net Metering Rules developed by IREC.
The Attorney General has indicated that state net metering statute (as authorized by the Arkansas Renewable Energy Development Act, or AREDA) could support meter aggregation and that meter aggregation could be particularly helpful for small governmental entities, but that rules must be crafted to avoid abuse by “shell” companies. The AG also responded to opposition from the state’s utilities by stating that AREDA grants the PSC with explicit authority to expand the scope of net metering, which includes meter aggregation.
Comments in this proceeding are due on September 10, reply legal briefs and comments are due by September 24, 2012 and a public hearing is scheduled for October 31, 2012.
Attachment A, which is found on the last page of the opening order, includes the strawman proposal that is based on IREC’s model net metering rules.