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NH Public Utilities Commission Approves New Net Metering Regulations
 
Published Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The NH Public Utilities Commission issued a new order which removes the statewide cap on net metering and maintains monthly [electric bill] netting of the onsite generation against the customer's monthly usage. The order also ensures that all customers who have already made an investment in solar or hydro systems or have a project in the utility interconnection queue will be protected and grandfathered through 2040 under the prior compensation scheme. 

Customers who net meter have a special meter which measures the difference between the electricity provided by the local utility or competitive energy supplier and the electricity produced by an on-site renewable energy source. The meter registers the flow of electricity in both directions – from the user's local utility or competitive energy supplier to their home and from their renewable energy source back out to the utility distribution system - and the net amount is used to calculate their monthly electric bill.  

Customers of Eversource, Liberty Utilities, NH Electric Cooperative and Unitil are eligible for net metering. For residential and small commercial customers, the peak generating capacity of the equipment is limited to 100 kW AC, and the equipment must be located behind the customer’s meter.  The equipment must also be interconnected and operating in parallel with the electric grid and used primarily to offset the customer's own electricity use. For larger generation facilities, the peak generating capacity is 1,000 kW.

For more information on net metering, click here

Key Components of the Order:

  • The new NEM rate begins on September 1, 2017. May be later if utilities can't update their billing systems in time to reflect the new NEM regime. Customers must be given 30 days notice in advance of the new rate start date.   
  • Grandfathering - all existing NEM systems are still grandfathered through 2040.  NEW systems (under new rate) also grandfathered through 2040. 
  • Small systems ≤100 kWare still credited monthly at 100% of retail energy and transmission charges but only 25% of distribution charge; the customer will receive monetary bill credits instead of kWh credits (allowing cash payment if customer moves or annual credit balance exceeds $100)
  • Large systems >100kWare still credited monthly at the default energy rate; bill credits now monetary instead of kWh.
  • All customer-generators must pay non-bypassable charges (system benefits, stranded cost recovery, storm recovery) based on full amount of electricity imports without netting exports.
  • Monthly Netting is maintained - all non-bypassable charges are netted on a monthly billing basis still.  
  • Value of DER Study: Eversource must perform a marginal cost of service study within twelve months (of Order date) to inform the Value of DER study. Value of DER study will focus on solar and small hydro and use a 10-15 year framework for the analysis.  Staff will direct/manage the study, hire a consultant to help perform it, and will begin by convening a workgroup to develop scope of study within two months' time of this Order.  
  • Statewide Cap - No new cap was set (so effectively the cap has been removed).
  • Pilots - Four pilot programs are approved, including: Time-of-Use (Eversource and Unitil only), shared bill credits for low/moderate income customers, Real-Time-Pricing for one municipality (Lebanon), and a non-wires alternative pilot.

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