NYS Net Metering
Sustainable CUNY, of the City University of New York, is implementing NYSolar Smart, a project designed to lower the soft costs of installing solar in New York State (NYS) that is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge II program and the NY-Sun Initiative. Under the SunShot initiative, Sustainable CUNY formed the NYS Net Metering & Interconnection Working Group that includes all of NY’s major electric utility companies.The working group created the resources below for the general public and solar industry to increase transparency on New York States’s net metering policies. Residential Solar NM FAQ's <pdf> | Commercial Solar NM FAQ's <pdf>
understanding net metering
Net metering allows consumers with alternative energy systems to export unused energy back to the grid in exchange for credits on their utility bills. These brief videos can help you understand net metering and its effect on your electric bill once you install a solar PV system.
Solar Net Metering 101 for Residential Use
Solar Net Metering 101 for Commercial Use
net metering analysis and Capacity Tracking
Current NYS law requires utilities listed below to provide net metering to customers for a minimum of 6% of their 2005 peak demand for non-wind systems (solar), and 0.3% for small wind systems. Once total kW net metered reaches the capacity, utilities are not required by Public Service Law 66-j and l to offer additional net metering to customers. However, the PSC has directed the utilities to continue accepting net metering applications beyond a 6% limit until a successor tariff has been determined through REV proceedings, (Reforming the Energy Vision). <pdf> NY Net Metering Analysis & Capacity Tracker August 2015 <pdf>Figures 1 & 2: Data reported as of June 30 th , 2015 compares the amount of applications in process and installed to the minimum requirement. “kW Connected” means the amount installed and the application is completed with the utility. “kW Proposed” represents only those applications that have been submitted, but not completed with the utility. You can see from this column below, the majority of the 6% limit has been reached by applications in process. The “Percent of capacity used” compares the “Total kW” of applications connected and proposed, and compares it to the 6% capacity limit.
Net Metering 'Limits'
In New York State, the PSC establishes a level of distributed generation for which each regulated, investor-owned utility is required to offer net metering in its service territory. These limits are generally set as a percentage of each utility’s peak electric load from a particular year, and they represent the amount of installed capacity for which the investor-owned utilities are required to provide net metering to their customers. They are referred to as minimum ‘limits’ or ‘caps’, because it is the minimum generation capacity a utility is required to purchase net metering from its customers.
history and current policy
Initially, for solar PV and other non-wind technologies, these limits were set at 1% of each utility territory’s 2005 peak demand. However, Central Hudson Gas & Electric reached the limit in July 2012, and following a petition by Hudson Valley Clean Energy, the PSC issued an order directing them to triple the capacity limit to 3% in October 2012. On July 1, 2013 the remaining regulated NYS utilities were directed to raise the net metering limit to 3% of 2005 peak demand.
Most recently, on December 15, 2014 the PSC directed the NYS utilities to raise the net metering limit to 6% of 2005 peak demand, and directed them to continue accepting net metering applications beyond the limit until a successor tariff has been determined. Public Service Law (PSL) §66-j sets the limits for non-wind systems (solar electric, biogas, micro-hydro, micro-combined heat and power, fuel cell technologies) and §66-l for wind systems. Wind net metering capacity is currently 0.3% of 2005 peak demand. The PSC may increase the limits if it is determined to be in the public’s interest. Publicly owned state and municipal utilities are not obligated to offer net metering, but some, like PSEG Long Island, provide similar programs. PSEG Long Island’s current net metering limit is 3% of 2005 peak demand for solar PV and other technologies and 0.3% for wind.
It is important to note, the law does not prohibit the utilities from providing net metering beyond the required limit to additional customers. In the past, National Grid continued to offer net metering once the 3% capacity was reached and did not disrupt the market, and Central Hudson has filed petitions to the PSC to raise the limit when they were close to reaching it.
The following charts detail the amount of generation capacity that is net metered (measured in kilowatts or kW) for each utility as of June 20, 2015, 2015, and compares it to the amount of net metering the utilities are required to provide. Central Hudson’s data is as of December 31st, 2014. As soon as the limitation is reached for a given utility, it will no longer be required to accept net metering applications unless the 6% of 2005 peak demand limit is raised. However, the PSC has directed each IOU to continue accepting net metering applications if the limit is reached until a successor tariff is determined.
Figure 3: Percent of total net metering capacity limit already installed and in process for non-wind systems as of June 30 th , 2015. National Grid and Orange & Rockland well surpassed the 6% limit this quarter from multiple, large applications with the intention of remote net metering under the former grandfathering law.
Figure 4: Actual growth trend of projects net metered since May 2013 compared to 6% of 2005 peak demand capacity for non-wind systems. KW includes installed and applications in process.
Figure 5: 392,160 kW is 6% of 2005 peak demand for National Grid. National Grid nearly doubled the cap in just the last quarter. This is a much faster growth rate than previously seen due to an influx of many 2 MW applications hoping to be grandfathered into previous remote net metering rules where host account’s on small commercial rates (no demand charges) could receive monetary ($) credit values instead of volumetric (kWh) credits to offset satellite account bills. 85% of the applications are proposed, and have not been completed. National Grid is continuing to accept net metering applications per the PSC’s direction.
Figure 6: Orange & Rockland received 27 applications for 2 MW systems from May 1 through June 1, 2015. The utility notified the PSC on July 13th, 2015 and requested an adoption of a “buy all, sell all” arrangement instead of net metering for those above the current cap. A buy all, sell all tariff would mean the solar customer would have to purchase all energy sent to them from the utility at their applicable service classification rate, and sell excess solar energy to utility at the avoided cost of power which is essentially the supply price per kWh. 75% of Orange & Rockland’s current capacity is comprised of proposed applications that have not been completed yet.
For more information
Current Net Metering Inventory reported quarterly to the PSC
DSIRE includes each PSC Order and Amendment for Public Service Law (PSL) §66-j and §66-l
PSC Orders for Renewable Portfolio Standard
List of all New York electric utilities