OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 394 (File 580, as amended by Senate "A")*

AN ACT CONCERNING AUTHORIZATIONS RELATING TO VIRTUAL NET METERING FOR CERTAIN ZERO OR LOW EMISSION GENERATION PROJECTS.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to authorize an additional $6 million of virtual net metering credits per year to municipal customer hosts that have submitted their interconnection and virtual net metering applications to an electric distribution company (EDC, i.e., Eversource and United Illuminating) by April 13, 2016.

The virtual net metering law allows municipal, state agency, and agricultural electric customers that install certain renewable generation systems (“hosts”) to (1) receive a billing credit for excess power their system generates and (2) share this credit with certain other accounts (“beneficial accounts”). For example, if a photovoltaic system on a school's roof generated more power than the school used, a town could use the excess credits to reduce the electricity bill for its fire station. Current law caps the total amount of credits provided to beneficial accounts at $10 million per year and limits the three categories of hosts to 40% of this amount.

As under current law, the bill's additional credits must be apportioned to each EDC based on their consumer load (i.e., approximately 80% to eligible Eversource customers and 20% to eligible United Illuminating customers).

*Senate Amendment “A” increases the amount of additional credits from $5 million to $6 million and changes the criteria and deadlines municipalities must meet to qualify for them.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2016

BACKGROUND

Related Bills

HB 5496 (File 727) requires certain facilities that have been approved for virtual net metering to become operational within 18 months after the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection issues a final permit.

HB 5242 (File 456) allows agricultural customers that lease or have a long-term contract for their renewable generation system to participate in virtual net metering.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Energy and Technology Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

22

Nay

0

(03/22/2016)