An Act Relating To Net Energy Billing for Solar Energy Users
Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, it is necessary to immediately ensure that persons who generate electricity by use of solar arrays and installations are treated fairly; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
Sec. 1. 35-A MRSA §3209-A is enacted to read:
§ 3209-A. Net energy billing
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.
Under current rules of the Public Utilities Commission, adopted pursuant to various laws governing the commission and designed to encourage the use of renewable resources, a customer who owns a small renewable or highly efficient generator may elect net energy billing under which the customer is billed on the basis of net energy used by that customer, taking into account electricity generated by the customer and electricity delivered to the customer by the transmission and distribution utility. The rules allow the customer to obtain credit for electricity generated by the customer's generator in excess of that used by the customer during any billing period, but only over a period of 12 months. At the end of the 12-month period, any accumulated unused credits are lost.
This bill requires the commission to permit certain customers to choose net energy billing and prohibits the commission from limiting the amount of credit that a customer may earn if the customer's generator relies on solar arrays and installations.
The net effect of this bill is to remove the commission's authority to limit the amount of credit that a net-energy-billed customer may earn if the customer's generator relies on solar arrays and installations.