|Program Type||Net Metering|
|Technologies||Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Wind, other renewables|
|Amount||Credited to customer bill at retail rate|
|Required Documentation||Interconnection agreement|
|Official Web Site||http://www.deq.state.va.us/p2/vise/netmetering.html|
According to the state, enrollment in the net-metering program is on a first-come, first-serve basis until the utility purchases 1 percent of its electricity from customers.
Net-metered customers are credited, at the retail rate, for any net excess generation produced on a monthly basis over a year period. The excess generation is carried forward on an annual basis. Originally, any net excess generation would revert to the utility. Now net excess generation over a year is carried forward into the next month. However, if a customers produces more electricity than it uses over a 12 month period, they are only credited for the amount of power it purchased over the previous year’s period.
The state explained that “if a customer-generator bought 1,500 kWh from a utility during the first eleven months of the annual period, and then generated 2,000 kWh of excess electricity in the twelfth month, the customer could carry forward 1,500 kWh to the following month, and the remaining 500 kWh would be granted to the utility.”
If customers produce more energy than they consumed over the year period and wants compensation for the excess generation, they can attempt to enter into a payment agreement with their utility. Such a request must be submitted to the utility in the period before the system goes live in order to receive compensation. When customers enter into a excess generation payment agreement with a utility, the utility must pay the system owner at least the avoided cost of the generation provided by the customer.
To enter into a net-metering arrangement, customers must fill out a interconnection agreement with their utility. Customers with systems under 10 kW in size may be required to pay up to $50 for an inverter inspection for inverter-based systems, like PV systems. And residential customers with interconnected systems must carry at least $100,000 in liability insurance.
While the rule stipulates that all a customer needs is a UL-(Underwriters Laboratories) certified meter capable of measuring energy flow in both directions, utilities can request installing a lockable disconnect switch at their request.