Net Metering

Program Net Metering
Category Regulatory Policy
Implementing sector State
Last Update
State District of Columbia
Administrator DC Public Service Commission
Start Date
Technologies Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Photovoltaics
Sectors Residential

NOTE: As of November 2018, the DC Public Service Commission is engaged in a rulemaking to consider adding definitions for customer generator, battery, back up generation, energy storage, microgrid, and smart inverter into its interconnection and net metering rules. These proposed definitions will have a significant impact on the eligibility of these systems to participate in net metering. 


In the District of Columbia (DC), net metering is currently available to residential and commercial customer-generators with systems powered by renewable-energy sources, combined heat and power (CHP), fuel cells and microturbines, with a maximum capacity of 1 megawatt (MW). The term "renewable energy sources" is defined as solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, biomass, hydroelectric facilities, and digester gas. In October 2008, the Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008 (Council Bill 17-492) expanded the limit on individual system size from 100 kilowatts (kW) to 1 MW. 

Net Excess Generation:

The District's net-metering rules specify that metering equipment must be capable of measuring the flow of electricity in two directions. Utilities are not prohibited from installing an additional meter on the facilities of eligible customer-generators, but utilities that choose to do so must pay for the added cost of the second meter and/or other necessary equipment. Compensation for monthly net excess generation (NEG) varies based on the size of the generator. For systems of 100 kW or less, NEG is credited to the customer's next bill at the full retail rate, which includes generation, transmission, and distribution components.* For systems with capacities of, or greater than, 100 kW, NEG is credited to the customer's next bill at the generation rate. Credits for NEG are expressed as a dollar value on the customer's bill and may be carried forward indefinitely.

Utilities (i.e., Pepco) must offer a standard net-metering contract approved by the PSC. The District's net metering rules also contain sections addressing net metering for customers of competitive electricity suppliers. The rules for crediting NEG are essentially the same as those used for customer-generators that receive standard offer service, but it should be noted that competitive suppliers are not required to offer net metering if they do not choose to do so.

Virtual Net Metering:

The Community Renewable Energy Amendment Act of 2013 (DC Bill 20-0057) was enacted on December 2013 which provides homeowners and renters with the option to purchase locally produced renewable power from authorized community renewable energy facilities (CREFs). Subscribers to CREFs can have up to 120% of their historical total monthly electric demand credited towards their electric bill via the net-metering of newly created “CREF credits.” The value of “CREF credits” is calculated by multiplying the number of kilowatts allocated to the subscriber  by the “CREF credit rate.” Excess credits carry over to the subscriber’s next bill. CREF generation sites can be built, owned, and operated by third parties, must have a capacity of less than 5 megawatts, must have at least 2 subscribers, and can add subscribers on a quarterly basis. If the CERF is not fully subscribed, the PEPCO as the Standard Offer Service (SOS) Administrator will purchase the unsubscribed electricity at the PJM Locational Marginal Price. 

In August 18, the Council enacted Community Renewable Energy Credit Rate (CREF) Clarification Amendment Act of 2016 which amended the CREF Credit rate. In February 2017, the PSC approved PEPCO's CREF's Procedural Manual, which explains how the monthly community net metering credits will be calculated. PEPCO's website includes more information on community energy in the District. 

*In June 2008, the DC PSC clarified that Pepco (PSC Order No. 14840) must award net-metered customers credit at the utility's full retail rate for the electricity they generate during a billing cycle. This provision remains in the current rules for systems of 100 kW or less.

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