Net Metering

Program Net Metering
Category Regulatory Policy
Implementing sector State
Last Update
State Ohio
Technologies Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Photovoltaics
Sectors Residential

Note: In December of 2015, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) proposed new net metering rules in docket (Case 12-2050-EL-ORD). These rules are currently under review.

Ohio's net-metering law requires electric distribution utilities to offer net metering to customers who generate electricity using wind energy, solar energy, biomass, landfill gas, hydropower, fuel cells, or microturbines. Although there is no stated capacity limit on an individual net-metered energy system in Ohio, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has ruled that "an implied limitation" is in effect because, by statute, a net-metered system must be "intended to offset part or all of the customer-generator's electricity requirements." Net-metered customers are required to use a single meter capable of recording flow of electricity in each direction. Net-metered customers may request refunds of net excess generation (NEG) credits accumulated over a 12-month period.

The electric distribution utilities and competitive retail electric service providers are required to develop a separate net metering tariff for hospital facilities. Qualifying hospital customer generators are not limited to the same energy generation technologies or system size restrictions described above for non-hospital net-metered customers. Two meters or a single meter with two registers capable of separately measuring flow of electricity in both directions are required for hospital net metering. All electricity generated by the hospital (including that generation used directly by the hospital and that which is sent back to the utility) will be credited at the market value at the time of generation. Electricity flowing from the utility and used by the hospital will be charged at the same rates as normal, as if the hospital were not net metering. The monthly bill will calculate the net of this total hospital customer generation vs. utility provided electricity to determine the bill. Any net credit dollar amount will be used against the hospital’s bill until the hospital requests a refund for any accumulated credits over a 12-month period.

Net-metered systems must meet safety standards specified by the National Electrical Code (NEC), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Utilities may not require customer-generators to comply with additional safety and performance standards.

Ohio’s original net-metering law was enacted in 1999 as part of the state’s electric-industry restructuring legislation. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) later revised its net metering rules in March 2007, prompted by the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005). Initially, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) required utilities to credit customer net excess generation (NEG) at the utility's full retail rate. However, in June 2002, the Ohio Supreme Court decided that this exchange was illegal (Case No. 01-0573) and ruled that each utility must credit NEG to the customer at the utility's unbundled generation rate. Legislation enacted in May 2008 (S.B. 221) further amended Ohio's net metering law by: (1)a limit on net metering to any time that the total rated generating capacity used by customer-generators is less than one percent of the provider’s aggregate customer peak demand in the state; and (2) removing all limitations related to energy generation technology and system size on systems sited at hospitals.

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