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Utah

Utah

Incentives/Policies for Renewable Energy

Printable Version
Net Metering   

Last DSIRE Review: 09/03/2014
Program Overview:
State: Utah
Incentive Type: Net Metering
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: CHP/Cogeneration
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Geothermal Electric, Hydrogen, Waste Gas and Waste Heat Capture or Recovery, Anaerobic Digestion, Small Hydroelectric
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government, Fed. Government, Agricultural, Institutional
Applicable Utilities:Investor-owned utilities, electric cooperatives
System Capacity Limit:2 MW for non-residential; 25 kW for residential
Aggregate Capacity Limit:20% of 2007 peak demand for Rocky Mountain Power; 0.1% of utility's 2007 peak demand for co-ops
Net Excess Generation:For RMP residential and small commercial customers, excess kWh credits are applied to customer's next bill at retail rate; any credits remaining at end of 12-month billing cycle are granted by the utility to a low income assistance program or other purpose approved by the PSC. For RMP large commercial and industrial customers with demand charges, customers may choose between valuing net excess generation at an avoided-cost-based rate or at an alternative rate based on utility revenue and sales contained in FERC Form No. 1.
For co-op customers, net excess generation is credited at avoided-cost rate.
REC Ownership:Customer owns RECs
Meter Aggregation:Allowed at same or adjacent location
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
Utah Code ยง 54-15-101 et seq.
3/15/2002 (subsequently amended)
5/6/2002
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
PSC Order, Docket No. 08-035-78
2/12/2009
4/1/2009
Authority 3:
Utah Admin Code R746-312-15
Summary:

Note: SB 208, enacted in May 2014, requires the Utah Public Service Commission (PSC) to convene a process to evaluate the costs and benefits of net energy metering, and to determine a “just and reasonable” rate structure considering those costs and benefits. The PSC has opened a new docket, 14-035-114, for comments and proceedings related to the costs and benefits of net metering. 

Utah law requires their only investor-owned utility, Rocky Mountain Power (RMP), and most electric cooperatives* to offer net metering to customers who generate electricity using solar energy, wind energy, hydropower, hydrogen, biomass, landfill gas, or geothermal energy. Net metering is available for residential systems up to 25 kilowatts (kW) in capacity and non-residential systems up to two megawatts (MW) in capacity, whether owned by the utility customer or a third party.

Any net excess generation at the end of an annualized billing period will expire with no compensation to the customer. The annualized billing period is a 12-month billing cycle beginning on April 1 of one year and ending on March 31 of the following year. Utilities may also establish one additional annualized billing period. SB 208 of 2014 stipulated that utilities must reserve the avoided cost value of any net metering credits remaining at the end of an annualized billing cycle, and apply those funds to their low income assistance programs, or another purpose determined by the Public Service Commission (PSC). 

PSC has regulatory authority over RMP and was authorized by the state legislature to change certain aspects of their net metering rules, but the PSC does not have authority over the cooperative utilities. As a result, a February 2009 order issued by the PSC changed some of the net metering rules for RMP, but the cooperatives are not obligated to adopt them and may continue offering net metering under the minimum terms established by the state legislature. 

Rocky Mountain Power
The PSC's February 2009 ruling raised the aggregate enrollment capacity for RMP from 0.1% to 20% of the utility's 2007 peak demand. In establishing a significantly higher enrollment limit, the PSC also requires RMP to submit an annual net metering report, due by July 1 of every year, informing the commission of the number of net-metered systems, the capacity of each installation, the total capacity of net metering systems, and any problems or barriers with the net-metering tariff.

For residential and small commercial customers, RMP will issue a kWh credit (at the retail rate) for monthly net excess generation produced by the net metering facility and apply that credit to the next billing period. RMP opted to make their additional billing cycle run from September to October for irrigation customers on Schedule 10. 

Large commercial and industrial customers with demand charges that generate excess generation will be given a choice between valuing excess generation at an avoided cost based rate; or valuing excess generation at an alternative rate based on utility revenue and sales contained in FERC Form No. 1.

The PSC also ruled that net metering customers are not exempt from the minimum bill charge that all customers must pay. If a net metering customer has multiple meters at one location or an adjacent location, the meters may be aggregated for billing purposes. The customer must notify the utility of the order in which they want the kWh credits to be applied to the meters. The PSC also clarified in its ruling that all renewable energy credits associated with the electricity produced by the system remain with the customer, unless otherwise agreed to or designated by the customer. 

In August 2014, the PSC declined RMP’s proposed facilities charge for net metered customers until it has completed the legislatively mandated review of net metering costs and benefits.

Click here for Rocky Mountain Power's interconnection agreement and application for net metering service.

Electric Cooperatives
If a customer generates more electricity than the customer uses during a billing period, then the utility must credit the customer for the net excess generation (NEG) at a rate equal to the utility's avoided cost or higher. Customer NEG is carried over to the next customer's next monthly bill during a 12-month period. As for RMP, electric cooperatives must apply the avoided cost value of any net metering credits remaining at the end of an annualized billing cycle to their low income assistance programs, or another purpose determined by the Public Service Commission (PSC).  Cooperatives are obligated to provide net metering until net metered systems account for 0.1% of the utility's 2007 peak demand.

Electric cooperatives may not levy additional charges unless authorized by its board of directors. Members of a cooperative who disagree with the charges approved by the board of directors may file a complaint with the PSC after filing a complaint with the cooperative’s board or directors.


* Beginning in March 2008, electric cooperatives serving fewer than 1,000 customers in Utah may discontinue making net metering available to customers that are not already net metering. In addition, electric cooperatives not headquartered in Utah that serve fewer than 5,000 customers in Utah are authorized to offer net metering to their Utah customers in accordance with a tariff, schedule or other requirement of the appropriate authority in the state in which the co-op's headquarters are located.


 
Contact:
  Becky Wilson
Utah Public Service Commission
Electricity
160 East 300 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Phone: (801) 530-6770
E-Mail: rlwilson@utah.gov
Web Site: http://www.psc.state.ut.us/
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

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