Note: HB 2201 of 2015 requires the Public Utility Commission to investigate and adopt new net metering and interconnection rules. The bill prohibits cross-subsidization of ratepayers potentially caused by net metering tariffs and limits IOUs from allowing more than 3% of aggregate load to be generated by solar power. The Commission opened a new proceeding (GO 258.3) in September 2018 to investigate the state's net metering rules. The summary below describes the current net metering rules. Eligibility and AvailabilityNet metering in West Virginia is available to all retail electricity customers. System capacity limits vary depending on the customer type and electric utility type, according to the following table.
IOUs with 30,000 customers or more
IOUs with fewer than 30,000 customers, municipal utilities, electric cooperatives
Systems that generate electricity using "alternative" or "renewable energy" resources are eligible for net metering, including photovoltaics (PV), wind, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas, run of the river hydropower, biofuels, fuel cells, and combined heat and power (technically called "recycled energy" in the rules).
Net metering may be accomplished using a single, bi-directional meter or two meters. In the event that two meters are used, the net number of kWh for billing purposes will be determined by subtracting the amount of electricity flowing from the customer to the utility from the amount of electricity flowing from the utility to the customer. Net-metering tariffs must be identical in rate structure, retail-rate components, and monthly charges, to the tariff for which the customer would qualify if that customer were not a customer-generator. Customers on a time-of-use (TOU) tariff are permitted to net meter.
Each customer with a net-metered system up to 50 kW must carry a minimum of $100,000 in liability insurance. Customers with systems greater than 50 kW and up to 500 kW are required to carry a minimum of $500,000, and customers with systems greater than 500 kW must carry a minimum of $1 million in liability insurance.
Net Excess GenerationNet excess generation (NEG) may be carried over to a customer-generator's next bill as a kilowatt-hour (kWh) credit at retail rate and may be rolled over, indefinitely. The credits may only be applied to the energy portion of the bill (not fixed costs or demand charges, for example).Alternative Energy CreditsBased upon the Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, alternative energy credits can be generated by renewable OR non-renewable sources that are not net-metered.General Order 184.32 states that in order to claim alternative energy credits, customer generators and behind the meter generators (BTMs) must certify their resource with the Public Utiliity Commission and then file an Alternative or Renewable Meter Generation. Customer generators and BTMs shall own alternative energy credits unless they have contracted by a third party to provide generation, in which case the third party owns the credits. Customer generators and BTMs with systems above 10 kW must have meters that meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) C-12 meter standards. Systems below 10 kW are permitted to make generation measurements based upon system inverters or may also have meters that meet ANSI C-12 standards.Meter Aggregation
Customers may aggregate meters (either physically or virtually) and apply net metering credits earned on one meter to additional meters, as long as they are located within two miles of the point of generation. The associated costs of meter aggregation are the responsibility of the customer.
The West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) approved consensus filings regarding net metering and interconnection guidelines in December 2006. The approved consensus provisions include proposed rules that apply to all electric utilities in the state. Utility tariffs incorporating the consensus net-metering provisions took effect in March 2007. In June 2010, the PSC adopted new net metering and interconnection procedures. In May 2011, the PSC clarified the definition of "run-of -river hydropower" to match the definition in the Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard.