Posts Tagged ‘net metering’

Texas Energy Policy, Inhibiting Green Energy!

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Related Article: Michigan Energy Policy, Needs Change In Leadership?

Real Quick, What is net metering?
“Net Metering” is the most critical public policy and state regulated rules that govern YOUR PERSONAL ENERGY RIGHTS, FREEDOM. Through Net Metering, energy consumed and produced at a home or business that has a home wind turbine or solar system is metered and credited. Under net metering, excess electricity produced by the wind turbine will spin the existing home or business electricity meter backwards, effectively banking the electricity until it is needed by the customer. This provides the customer with full retail value for all the electricity produced.

If you can’t afford a windmill or solar system for your home, we still need you to get involved, right here. This article will point out how your state, Texas has serious limits on your personal energy rights. That’s right, people in states like Colorado, New Jersey, etc. have far more rights and freedom for personal energy than you. Please make these same points to your elected officials, Governor, State Representatives, Local newspapers, and Utility Commissions. Join me in calling on US Congress and US Senate to legislate a standardized Net Metering Policy, nationally. We need National Standards for Net Metering Policy to support wind and solar progress, not stifle it. Having these states all do their own thing is limiting many Americans from their personal energy rights. But first, for now, we need to shine the light on these state policies and get reforms in our own back yard.

Here’s a quick look at Texas Net Metering Rules. I’m going to compare them to other states, states where the government Utility Commissions and Politicians are on the side of taxpayers and not sold out to Fat Cat Utility companies. If the Texas taxpayers don’t understand what needs to happen, and make noise to public officials, then the Utility Companies are the ones most influencing policy, not the consumers. Thus we will be stuck with these limits on green energy for homeowners and businesses.

I’ll use Colorado and New Jersey in some real basic policy comparisons so you can easily see where you, in Texas, are getting hosed by Big Utility friendly policy.

home turbine home wind turbine home turbines turbines for home turbines for homes turbines homes wind turbines for homes home made turbine turbines for the home wind turbine for home turbine for home home built turbine home built turbines home turbine power home made turbines turbines home use wind turbines home use home gas turbine home wind turbine generators turbine

Texas Limit on System Size: 100 kW for qualifying facilities; 50 kW for renewables (see summary)
OK, that is enough for most but not all residences, depending on wind resources. Any very large residence, normal business, or a consumer in a lower wind area could need more power than that. What does that mean? Well, it means that by your states Utility Commission rules, they and their big Utilities they are supposed to “regulate” have it fixed on the taxpayer. As a taxpayer, many larger residences and most businesses will have to go Off-Grid to generate ALL their own power. Not good enough. No freedom in that, no justice. WHO is most likely to afford to invest in green energy? The largest residences and some stable businesses that can afford it… Doh. Sorry, your elected officials and their corrupt Utility “Regulators” have basicall put a limit in there for that…

Compare To, New Jersey Limit on System Size: 2MW, 2,000,000 watts
OK, meaning a person in New Jersey has dramatically more rights to personal energy than a taxpayer in Texas. That’s enough to power 2 WalMart stores! To be mathematic, a New Jersey taxpayer has 20 times the personal energy rights than a taxpayer in Texas. That sucks for Texas taxpayers, but maybe not so bad for the Big Utilities and the government “regulators” and politicians that support these limits on taxpayer rights to personal energy. They keep that ceiling over your head to hold back green energy, or keep it for themselves. We all have wind, sun, we should all have freedom to make OUR OWN electricity from it.

Texas Limit on Overall Enrollment: None
OK, this is great, same as leading states like Colorado. In many states like Michigan, the fat cats have it capped at 0.5% of grid capacity, then they don’t have to allow anyone else… It’s too successful at 0.5% and they want it stopped.. Nice.

Texas Treatment of Net Excess: Purchased by utility for a given billing period at avoided-cost rate.
OK, that’s a rip off. That means they can pay you whatever their idea is of their “avoided cost”. Bogus. And they can take your excess, pay you a fraction for your power generated, sell it to your neighbors an retail rate. Your Texas Net Metering Policy is getting an “F” for this bad policy. This should specifically be a 1 to 1 retail rate, what they charge is what they credit/pay otherwise they are taking advantage.

Colorado, Treatment of Net Excess: Credited to customer’s next bill; IOUs: utility pays customer at end of calendar year for excess kWh credits at the average hourly incremental cost for that year. Co-ops and Munis: annual reconciliation at a rate deemed appropriate by the utility. The annual period is undefined.

Texas Utilities Involved: Applies only to all integrated IOUs that have not unbundled in accordance with Public Utility Regulatory Act § 39.05; does not apply to municipal utilities, river authorities and electric cooperatives
Oh Boy, In Texas, some of the highest cost power is in munis, co-ops, and river authorities. These rules are crafted to allow many over-priced Utility Companies to be outside the rules. That stinks too. We need all inclusive wording here no matter who’s contriuting to who’s campaign, or paying gifts, bribes, whatever goes on there.

Colorado Utilities Involved: All IOUs and co-ops; munis with more than 5,000 customers
OK, Here, Colorado basically doesn’t let anyone out of Net Metering Rules, that’s really good. In Texas, some of the highest cost power is in munis and co-ops. Texas needs to step up to other states level of energy freedom here and “regulate”, stop protecting their buddies.

*HB 3693, passed in May 2007 and effective September 2007, appears to make significant modifications to Texas net metering and interconnection policy. As of April 2008, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) were still in the process of implementing this legislation. Although implementation is ongoing, an April 2008 PUCT order clarifies that net metering will not be available in areas of Texas in which retail electric competition has been introduced. The impact of HB 3693 on net metering availability in non-competitive areas of Texas is still being determined. PUCT documents on this subject are available under Docket 34890 while ERCOT is addressing issues for small renewable generators (<50 kW) through its Profiling Working Group.

As we speak there are loopholes and complication being piled on in favor of Fat Cat Utilities by bureaucrats and politicians beholden to them. This PUCT, ERCOT, and such is a diversion allowing multiple rules in play on your rights… YOUR VOICE IS NEEDED.

Also, forward these links to your local texas papers and write letters to the editor, send to local news for exposure and attention.

Contact: Governor Rick Perry
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428
Citizen’s Opinion Hotline: (800) 252-9600
FAX: (512) 463-1849
FAX:(517) 335-6863

Public Information – PUCT
Public Utility Commission of Texas

7800 Shoal Creek Boulevard, #400N
Austin, TX 78757
Phone: (512) 936-7000

Contact: Texas State Representatives:
Leadership in the House is headed by the Speaker of the House, who makes committee appointments and designates which committee(s) each Representative will serve on.

Here you can find a listing all Texas Representatives and their contact information, including office phone numbers and e-mail addresses. If you use this by Zip Code, it will give you your US Senators as well.
Find Texas State Representatives By Zip

For Wind Turbine Sales or Dealer Inquiries

If you are interested in starting a wind project for your residence or acreage, contact us. To Buy a Wind Turbine or Become a Dealer, Please fill out our Contact Form. The system will automatically send you some additional info.

Wind/Solar Battleground, 8 STATES WITH NO NET METERING

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

There are actually 8 STATES WITH NO NET METERING AT ALL. To me, these should be the focus of effort… Sort of Net Metering Battleground States. See net metering map metering map of us

Curiously some of these states have great wind resources along that central US belt. But even the states without much wind resources are important to home and business solar generation systems.

If your state is red, you really should be engaged in this issue. This means you have NO right or support to have your own windmill or solar and do so WITH utility power connection as well. But look how many other citizens can do this, sorry, not in your state. It’s wrong, needs fixed.

Also worth noting, look at the states that have horizontal green lines. In these states the utility buys back excess at full retail price, 1 to 1 ratio. In many states like Ohio, they bay back at about 1/2 of what the homeowner or business retail cost, so it’s 2 to 1, causing return on investment in wind or solar to take longer, thus restricts and discourages small wind/solar generation being developed and adopted. That’s what we all want and should have, equality of support for alternative energy.

We all need to support and demand that our RIGHTS be expanded to be equal to other states. If you notice by the map, about 90% of us have less opportunity for home and business wind energy than other US citizens. WHY? Because politicians have not caught onto this as a point of how they can support alternative energy.

If any of you don’t understand Net-Metering, read my tutorial on net metering.

Please contact your State’s Utility Commission, State Representatives, Congressman, Senator, and send them this link with the map here. Ask them to support the standardization of these laws and policies to equalize everyone’s ability to have economically viable investment in home and business wind/solar systems.

small wind turbnes, home, farm, school
Personal Wind Generator Systems

If you are interested in starting a wind project for your residence or acreage, contact us. To Buy a Wind Turbine or Become a Dealer, Please fill out our Contact Form. The system will automatically send you some additional info.

Understand Net Metering for Home Wind Turbines and Solar

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

small wind turbine residential windmillWe get so many calls at WindEnergy7 from folks who want to install a wind system. One of the top things that customers say is, “I want to save on utility bills and and maybe make some money” So, at WindEnergy7 we try to make this happen for our customers. There are several factors to consider and calculate to see what your wind project can do, financially. Local Utility and State Net Metering policy is one factor that you have to find out about and understand.

Grid-Tie or On-Grid – A term used for energy systems that are connected to the normal utility system of a home or business. With a grid-tie system your system becomes an extension of your existing utility supply. Thus if it is not running, a windmill on a still day, or a solar panel at night, you still have electricity flowing through your meter from the electrical utility, same as normal, meter running forward. In case of any downtime or maintenance of your systems you will not be without power.



In reverse, a Grid-Tied or On-Grid system will be generating more electrical power than you use, example a windy night with all lights and household appliances are off, your meter actually running backward as you generate clean electricity to the grid that will be used by neighbors and others on the grid.

Grid-Tie-Wind-Turbine-System residential windmill

Net Metering – is the electricity policy for consumers who own wind or solar power generation systems. Net metering is the rules of your state and utility company combined. These rules vary by state AND utility provider, some better than others, thus it has much to do with the ROI (return on investment) of your system. The ideal has your existing electricity meter spinning backwards, effectively banking excess electricity production for future credit. The rules dictate if and how long you can keep your banked credits, how much the credits are worth (retail/wholesale), etc.

Net Metering is generally a consumer-based renewable energy incentive. While it is important to have Net Metering available for any consumer that interconnects their renewable generator to the grid, this form of renewable incentive places the burdens of pioneering renewable energy primarily upon fragmented consumers.

Net Metering Law – In the U.S.A., as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, under Sec. 1251, all public electric utilities are now required to make available upon request net metering to their customers.

‘‘(11) NET METERING.—Each electric utility shall make available upon request net metering service to any electric consumer that the electric utility serves. For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘net metering service’ means service to an electric consumer under which electric energy generated by that electric consumer from an eligible on-site generating facility and delivered to the local distribution facilities may be used to offset electric energy provided by the electric utility to the electric consumer during the applicable billing period.

Part of the homework that a customer needs to do is:

(1) Look at their Net Metering for state and their utility company here.

(2) Look at their bill for cost per kwH (kilowatt hour), compare to net metering information. Need to know your cost per kwH to calculate savings & ROI (return on investment).

(3) Look at their local wind map, need 11mph or better average to be successful, zone 2 or higher on DOE Wind Maps by State.

(4) Look at your site, do you have room for a turbine, usually an acre or more is best. Recently there have been urban residential installs. So, it’s possible to put one in a suburban or urban neighborhood but takes more negotiating with zoning, code enforcement and others. Most small wind turbines are put into farm-ranch lots of an acre or more.

Now, I have many customers and projects and get customers who call and just want this done easy. Many want more consultation and have questions. No problem at all, we try to provide very complete kits, information, and the service you require.

We can help you prove, plan, and execute your personal wind project or develop your wind energy plans. If you are interested in starting a wind project for your residence or acreage, contact us. To Buy a Wind Turbine or Become a Dealer, Please fill out our Contact Form. The system will automatically send you some additional info.

New Jersey – Net Metering

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

New Jersey – Net Metering

Incentive Type: Net Metering

Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Geothermal Electric, Anaerobic Digestion, Tidal Energy, Wave Energy, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels

Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential

Limit on System Size: 2 MW

Limit on Overall Enrollment: No limit

Treatment of Net Excess: Several options exist according to customer preference. Generally, NEG will be credited to customer’s next bill at retail rate with next excess purchased by the utility at the avoided cost rate at the end of an annualized period.

Utilities Involved: Electric distribution companies (does not apply to municipal utilities or electric co-ops)

Interconnection Standards for Net Metering?


Authority 1: N.J. Stat. § 48:3-87
Date Enacted: 1999 (subsequently amended)
Effective Date: 1999
Authority 2: N.J.A.C. 14:4-9
Date Enacted: 9/13/2004
Effective Date: 10/4/2004


Note: In September 2007 the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) approved an order regarding a redesign of the state solar-energy program. As a result, the New Jersey Office of Clean Energy (OCE) has been directed to develop modified interconnection, net metering and renewable portfolio standard (RPS) rules consistent with the program transition. Click here to view the proposed rules.  

New Jersey’s net-metering rules and interconnection standards apply to all residential, commercial, and industrial customers of the state’s investor-owned utilities (and certain competitive municipal utilities and electric cooperatives). Eligible systems include those that generate electricity using solar, wind, geothermal, wave, tidal, landfill gas or sustainable biomass resources, including fuel cells (all “Class I” technologies under the state RPS). The maximum individual system capacity is two megawatts (MW). There is no firm aggregate limit* on net metering. Many supporters of distributed generation believe that New Jersey has the best standards for net metering in the United States.  

A single metering arrangement is preferred. Customer-generators have several compensation options for net excess generation (NEG), listed below: 1. Customer-generator receives month-to-month credit for NEG at the full retail rate and is compensated for remaining NEG at the avoided-cost of wholesale power at the end of an annualized period.  

2. Customer-generator is compensated for all NEG on a real-time basis according to the PJM power pool real-time locational marginal pricing rate, adjusted for losses by the respective zone in the PJM.  

3. Customer generator may enter into a bilateral agreement with their electric supplier or service provider for the sale and purchase of NEG. Real-time crediting is permitted, subject to the applicable PJM rules.

The latter two options were added by S.B. 2936 enacted in January 2008 and effective July 11, 2008. This legislation also: (1) extends net metering to industrial and large commercial customers; (2) extends net metering to all systems that generate electricity using “Class I” renewable-energy resources; and (3) permits utilities to recover the costs of “any new net meters, upgraded net meters, system reinforcements or upgrades, and interconnection costs” through either their regulated rates or from net-metered customers. These changes are not yet reflected in the administrative rules.  

Customers eligible for net metering retain ownership of all renewable-energy credits (RECs) associated with the electricity they generate. Customers with photovoltaic (PV) systems may apply to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to participate in New Jersey’s Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (S-RECs) program, which tracks and verifies solar certificates, and allows the certificates to be sold on-line to electric suppliers to meet suppliers’ solar renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requirements.  

*S.B. 2936 amended this portion of the law by removing a potential financial impact cap of $2 million and by increasing the aggregate capacity trigger to 2.5% (formerly 0.1%) of statewide peak load. As before, the BPU retains discretionary authority over capping net metering if this trigger is met.

Benjamin Scott Hunter
New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
Renewable Energy Program Administrator, Office of Clean Energy
44 South Clinton Avenue
P.O. Box 350
Trenton, NJ 08625-0350
Phone: (609) 777-3300 
Fax: (609) 777-3330
Web site:

If you are interested in starting a wind project for your residence or acreage, contact us. To Buy a Wind Turbine or Become a Dealer, Please fill out our Contact Form. The system will automatically send you some additional info.


Colorado – Net Metering

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

Colorado – Net Metering

Incentive Type: Net Metering

Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Wind, Biomass, Geothermal Electric, Solar Electric, Recycled Energy, Small Hydroelectric, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels

Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential

Limit on System Size: IOUs: 2 MW

Cooperative and municipal utilities: 10 kW for residential; 25 kW for commercial and industrial

Limit on Overall Enrollment: None

Treatment of Net Excess: Credited to customer’s next bill; IOS: utility pays customer at end of calendar year for excess kWh credits at the average hourly incremental cost for that year

Coops and Munis: annual reconciliation at a rate deemed appropriate by the utility . The annual period is undefined.

Utilities Involved: All IOUs and co-ops; munis with more than 5,000 customers

Interconnection Standards for Net Metering?
Yes. Interconnection is governed by PUC rules for IOUs and co-ops. Per HB08-1160, by 10/1/2008, the PUC must initiate a new rule making to revisit interconnection rules for co-ops. Interconnection rules for munis must be “functionally similar� to PUC rules for IOUs.

Authority 1: 4 CCR 723-3, Rule 3664
Date Enacted: 12/15/2005
Effective Date: 7/2/2006
Authority 2: C.R.S. 40-9.5-301 et seq.
Authority 3: HB 1160 of 2008
Date Enacted: 3/26/2008

In December 2005, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) adopted standards for net metering and interconnection, as required by Amendment 37, a renewable-energy ballot initiative approved by Colorado voters in November 2004. The PUC standards apply to the state’s investor-owned utilities (IOUs).

Systems up to two megawatts (MW) in capacity that generate electricity using qualifying renewable-energy resources are eligible for net metering in IOU service territories. Municipal and cooperative utilities are subject to lesser maximums as described below. Electricity generated at a customer’s site can be applied toward meeting a utility’s renewable-generation requirement under Colorado’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS). The RPS mandates that 4% of the renewables requirement be met with solar energy; half of this percentage must come from solar electricity generated at customers’ facilities.

For Colorado’s net-metering rules, any customer net excess generation (NEG) in a given month is applied as a kilowatt-hour (kWh) credit to the customer’s next bill. If in a calendar year a customer’s generation exceeds consumption, the utility must reimburse the customer for the excess generation at the utility’s average hourly incremental cost for the prior 12-month period.

If a customer-generator does not own a single bi-directional meter, then the utility must provide one free of charge. Systems over 10 kilowatts (kW) in capacity require a second meter to measure the output for the counting of renewable-energy credits (RECs). Customers accepting IOU incentive payments must surrender all renewable energy credits (RECs) for the next 20 years. Cooperative and municipal utilities are free to develop their own incentive programs at their discretion but they are not subject to the solar set-aside.  

House Bill 08-1160, passed in March 2008, requires municipal utilities with more than 5,000 customers and all cooperative utilities to offer net-metering. The new law allows residential systems up to 10 kW in capacity and commercial and industrial systems up to 25 kW to be credited monthly at the retail rate for any net excess generation their systems produce. Coops and municipal utilities are free to exceed these minimum size standards if they so choose. The statute also requires the utilities to pay for any remaining net excess generation at the end of an annual period but does not define what the annual period is, nor the rate at which it will be paid. The law says that the utilities will make a payment based on a “rate deemed appropriate by the utility”. The new law also required the PUC to open a new rule making to determine if the existing interconnection standards adopted in 4 CCR 723-3, Rule 3665 should be modified for cooperative utilities. Municipal utilities are required to adopt rules “functionally similarâ€? to the existing PUC rules, but may reduce or waive any of the insurance requirements.

Richard Mignogna
Colorado Public Utilities Commission
1560 Broadway, Suite 250
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: (303) 894-2871
Web site:

If you are interested in starting a wind project for your residence or acreage, contact us. To Buy a Wind Turbine or Become a Dealer, Please fill out our Contact Form. The system will automatically send you some additional info.