In May 2007, the New Orleans City Council adopted net-metering rules that are similar to rules adopted by the Louisiana Public Service Commission (PSC) in November 2005. The City Council's rules require Entergy New Orleans, an investor-owned utility regulated by the city, to offer net metering to customers with systems that generate electricity using solar energy, wind energy, hydropower, geothermal or biomass resources. Fuel cells and microturbines that generate electricity entirely derived from eligible renewable resources are also eligible.
System Size Limits
The City Council's rules apply to residential facilities with a maximum capacity of 25 kilowatts (kW), and to commercial and agricultural systems with a maximum capacity of 300 kW. In June 2008, Louisiana SB 359 increased the maximum capacity of commercial and agricultural systems to 300 kW. In September 2009, the New Orleans City Council formally adopted this change and it is now effective for customers of Entergy New Orleans. (These limits and other details are specified in Louisiana’s net-metering law, which applies to all utilities in the state.) Applications and other relevant information are located on the Entergy Net Metering website.
Net Excess Generation
Net excess generation (NEG) is credited at the utility's retail rate and carried over to the customer’s next bill indefinitely. For the final month in which the customer takes service from the utility, the utility will pay the customer for the balance of any credit at the utility’s avoided-cost rate.
Utilities must provide customer-generators with a meter capable of measuring the flow of electricity in both directions, or, if the existing meter is incapable of registering bi-directional electricity flow, an additional meter or meters capable of registering bi-directional electricity flow. Utilities must pay for the cost of the meter itself, but utilities may assess a “one-time customer charge” to cover the installation costs. The “customer charge” may include the cost of a mandatory accuracy test of the customer's meter or meters, performed by the utility. Net metering customers are required to have a manual disconnect located on the outside of their building and accessible to Entergy New Orleans 24 hours a day.
Customers must pay for “installation costs,” which constitute the cost of metering and interconnection, but not the cost of the meter. Installation costs are $50 per residential installation, and $75 per commercial installation. Network interconnection is limited in certain instances, and prohibited in others.
Customers must notify the utility at least 90 days prior to the date of interconnection. The utility must use a standard interconnection agreement approved by the City Council. Systems must meet all safety and performance standards established by local and national electric codes and performance standards, including the NEC, IEEE, UL, NESC and any other relevant codes specified by the City Council. An external disconnect switch is required.