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Maine Adopts Amended Net Energy Billing Rules, New Commercial NEB Tariff Rate

Recent legislation amending the net energy billing (NEB) rules to include a tariff rate program specifically for commercial customers and directing the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to procure distributed generation, has prompted a flurry of PUC rule changes in the past months. See P.L. 2019, ch. 478 (LD 1711), An Act to Promote Solar Energy Projects and Distributed Generation Resources in Maine (the “Act). The Act has kept on giving when it comes to stimulating complex rulemakings with heavy stakeholder interest and involvement. Here is an update on the NEB rule changes.

2019-000197 – Update on Ch. 313 Net Energy Billing amendments:

ADOPTED NEB RULE

In late November, the PUC adopted an amended Rule for the existing NEB program and a new tariff rate program specifically for commercial and institutional (C&I) customers. Ch. 313 – Net Energy Billing, Docket No. 2019-00197, Corrected Order (Nov. 25, 2019). The November 25 Order contained clarifications for the NEB programs. The Rules clarify that both residential and non-residential customers may participate in a kilowatt-hour (kWh) shared-financial interest facility so long as applicable market rules permit such an arrangement. Id. at 5.

Other aspects of the amended Rule raise questions related to customer billing by utilities on behalf of project sponsors, the limits of municipalities’ participation, and the bill credit or kWH credit allocation methodologies that will be available for shared projects.

Maine’s T&D utilities are in the process of finalizing standardized NEB agreements that will further clarify both the kWh and tariff rate NEB programs.

NEB TARIFF RATE

On December 2, 2019, the PUC issued an Order Setting the NEB Tariff Rate for C&I customers as follows:

Ch. 313 – Net Energy Billing, Docket No. 2019-00197, Order Setting Tariff Rate (Dec. 2, 2019).

If you have questions about the new NEB rules and how they may apply to your business or interest in a solar facility, contact a member of Verrill's Energy Group for more details.

Topics: Utilities