In April 2001, Arkansas enacted legislation (H.B. 2325) directing the Arkansas Public Service Commission (PSC) to establish net-metering rules for certain renewable-energy systems.* The PSC approved final rules for net metering in July 2002. Subsequent legislation enacted in April 2007 (H.B. 2334) expanded the availability of net metering. In 2012, the PSC amended the net metering rules to exempt local, state and federal government entities and agencies from previously required indemnity agreements (Docket 12-001-R Order No. 6). On November 6th, 2013 the PSC approved new net metering tariffs for all utilities under its jurisdiction. In March 2015, legislation (H.B. 1004) revised the net metering rules modifying provisions for excess generation, providing options for increasing the net metering cap for non-residential customers, and opening a docket to determine appropriate fees and terms for net metering customers.
Eligibility and Availability
Residential renewable energy systems generating capacity cannot be greater than 25 kW in capacity, or 100% of the net-metering customer’s highest monthly usage in the previous 12 months. Non-residential systems can be sized up to 300kW, however the Public Service Commission can allow capacity larger than 300kW.
Eligible technologies include solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal and biomass systems, as well as fuel cells and microturbines using renewable fuels. There is no limit specified for the aggregate capacity of all net-metered systems.
Net Excess Generation (NEG)
Customers may carry over any NEG credit remaining at their of their billing cycle indefinitely. For any excess generation credits that are 2 years old, the customer may elect the electric utility to purchase the excess generation credits at the electric utility’s estimated annual average avoided cost rate for wholesale energy. The electric utility must also purchase the excess credits at the avoided cost for wholesale energy if the customer i) ceases to a customer of electric utility, ii) cease to operate net-metering, iii) transfers net metering facility to another person.
Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)
Customers own the RECs associated with their systems.
The PSC ruled in favor of meter aggregation in September 2013 with Order No. 7 in Docket No. 12-060-R. Any customer with multiple meters within a single utility's service territory may designate multiple meters to be offset by a single net metering system or or multiple systems. The net metering customer must give the utility at least 30 days of notice. The additional meter or meters must be identified at the time of the request and must be in the net metering customer's name. The net metering customer must also designate the rank order for the additional meters to which the excess kWhs will be credited.
The PSC is authorized to allow utilities to assess net-metered customers "a greater fee or charge of any type, if the electric utility's direct costs of interconnection and administration of net metering outweigh the distribution system, environmental, and public policy benefits of allocating the costs among the electric utility's entire customer base."
* Municipal utilities do not fall under the PSC's jurisdiction and are not required to follow the PSC's rules. The PSC regulates investor-owned and cooperative utilities.