HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2616

TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2016

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to community-based renewable energy.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that while residential solar energy use has grown dramatically across the State in recent years, many residents and businesses are currently unable to directly participate in renewable energy generation because of their location, building type, access to the electric utility grid, and other impediments. Act 100, Session Laws of Hawaii 2015, established the community-based renewable energy program to enable Hawaii residents to participate in the economic, environmental, and societal benefits of renewable energy. Specifically, Act 100 attempted to expand the market for eligible renewable energy resources to residential and business renters, occupants of residential and commercial buildings with shaded or improperly oriented roofs, and other groups who are unable to access the benefits of onsite clean energy generation by requiring electric utilities to propose community-based renewable energy tariffs.

Despite this bold and detailed vision from the legislature, Hawaii consumers are still unable to participate in a community-based renewable energy program. A proposal submitted by several electric utilities fell far short of the legislature's vision, in scope, scale, and accessibility. The legislature finds that it is necessary to re-visit the community-based renewable energy program in order to balance the inequitable access to renewable energy.

The legislature finds that including a community-based net energy metering program as part of Hawaii's community-based renewable energy program will ensure that customers can participate in renewable energy generation. Additionally, operating a community net energy metering program in a similar manner and scale as the State's net energy metering programs will ensure that the opportunities afforded to participants in the community net energy metering program will be commensurate with the opportunities afforded to participants in net energy metering.

The purpose of this Act is to make the benefits of renewable energy generation more accessible to a greater number of Hawaii residents by foregoing any further delay in the Hawaii community-based renewable energy program by establishing a community net energy metering program.

SECTION 2. Chapter 269, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"Part . community net energy metering

269-A Definitions. As used in this part:

"Community net energy metering" means measuring the difference between the total electricity supplied to an eligible community net energy metering customer-generator through the electric grid, and the electricity generated by the customer's interest in a community net energy metering facility, over a monthly billing period.

"Eligible community net energy metering customer-generator" means a metered residential or commercial customer, including a government entity, of an electric utility, who obtains an interest in a community net energy metering facility that generates renewable energy as defined under section 269-91; provided that electric utility customers who participate in a net energy metering program pursuant to section 269-102 shall not be eligible for participation in community net energy metering.

"Eligible facility" means a community net energy metering facility that generates renewable energy as defined under section 269-91 and in which eligible community net energy metering customer-generators obtain an interest in accordance with this part. If only a portion of the ownership or other interest in a renewable energy facility is held by eligible community net energy metering customer-generators, then only that portion of the facility shall be considered the eligible facility.

269-B Maximum capacity of an eligible community net energy metering customer-generator. The eligible community net energy metering customer-generator's interest in an eligible facility shall have a capacity of not more than fifty kilowatts; provided that the public utilities commission may increase the maximum allowable capacity that eligible customer-generators may have to an amount greater than fifty kilowatts by rule or order. Notwithstanding this section, a multi-unit dwelling or building that utilizes consolidated electric metering for multiple residential or commercial units may obtain an interest in an eligible facility that is equal to fifty kilowatts multiplied by the number of its units participating in the community net energy metering program.

269-C Standard contract or tariff; rate structure. (a) Every electric utility shall develop a standard contract or tariff providing for community net energy metering and shall make this contract available to eligible community net energy metering customer-generators, upon request, on a first-come-first-served basis until the time that the total rated generating capacity produced by eligible facilities in the utilities' service areas equals the total rated generating capacity of that electric utility's net energy metering program as reported pursuant to section 269-103. The public utilities commission may define, by rule or order, a higher maximum capacity for eligible facilities serving eligible residential or small commercial community net energy metering customer-generators.

(b) Each community net energy metering contract or tariff shall be identical, with respect to rate structure, to the contract or tariff to which the same customer would be assigned if the customer was not an eligible customer-generator; provided that a community net energy metering contract or tariff shall utilize a time-of-use rate structure. The charges for all retail rate components for eligible customer-generators shall be based exclusively on the eligible customer-generator's net kilowatt-hour consumption over a monthly billing period; provided that a reasonable demand charge or minimum monthly charge may be applied. Any demand charges or minimum monthly charges that substantially increases an eligible community net energy metering customer-generator's costs beyond those of other customers in the rate class to which the eligible customer-generator would otherwise be assigned shall be contrary to the intent of this section, and shall not be included in any community net energy metering contract or tariff.

(c) The public utilities commission may amend the rate structure or standard contract or tariff by rule or order. Any amended community net energy metering rate structure or standard contract or tariff shall comply with subsections (a) and (b).

269-D Generating capacity. Twice per year, beginning in 2016, every electric utility shall make available to the public utilities commission information on the total rated generating capacity produced by eligible facilities in the utility's service area. The public utilities commission shall develop a process for making the information required by this section available to the public.

269-E Additional customer-generators. Notwithstanding section 269-B, an electric utility shall not be obligated to provide community net energy metering to additional eligible community net energy metering customer-generators in its service area when the combined total rated generating capacity of all eligible facilities in that utility's service area exceeds the total rated generating capacity of that electric utility's net energy metering program as reported pursuant to section 269-103; provided that the public utilities commission may define, by rule or order, a higher maximum capacity for eligible facilities in that utility's service areas, whereupon the electric utility shall be obligated to provide net energy metering to additional eligible community net energy metering customers in that service area up to the higher maximum capacity.

269-F Calculation. The community net energy metering calculation shall be made by measuring the difference between the electricity supplied by a utility to the eligible community net energy metering customer-generator and:

(1) The electricity generated by the eligible community net energy metering customer-generator's interest in an eligible facility and fed into the electric grid over a monthly billing period; and

(2) Any unused credits for excess electricity from the eligible community net energy metering customer-generator's interest an eligible facility carried over from previous months since the last twelve-month reconciliation period.

269-G Billing periods; twelve-month reconciliation. (a) Billing of community net energy metering customers shall be on a monthly basis; provided that the last monthly bill for each twelve-month period shall reconcile for that twelve-month period the net electricity provided by the electric utility with:

(1) The electricity generated by the eligible community net energy metering customer-generator's interest in an eligible facility and fed into the electric grid over the monthly billing period; and

(2) Any unused credits for excess electricity from the eligible customer-generator carried over from prior months since the last twelve-month reconciliation period.

(b) Credits for excess electricity from the eligible community net energy metering customer-generator's interest in an eligible facility that remain unused after each twelve-month reconciliation period may not be carried over to the next twelve-month period.

(c) The twelve-month reconciliation period shall conclude in May of each year.

269-H Net electricity consumers. At the end of each monthly billing period, where the electricity supplied during the period by the electric utility exceeds:

(1) The electricity generated by the eligible community net energy metering customer-generator's interest in an eligible facility during that same period; and

(2) Any unused credits for excess electricity from the eligible community net energy metering customer-generator carried over from prior months since the last twelve-month reconciliation period,

the eligible customer-generator is a net electricity consumer and the electric utility shall be owed compensation for the eligible customer-generator's net kilowatt-hour consumption over that same period. The compensation owed for the eligible community net energy metering customer-generator's net monthly kilowatt-hour consumption shall be calculated in accordance with section 269-C.

269-I Net electricity producers; excess electricity credits and credit carry over. At the end of each monthly billing period, where the electricity generated by the eligible community net energy metering customer-generator's interest in an eligible facility during the month exceeds the electricity supplied by the electric utility to the customer-generator during that same period, the customer-generator is a net electricity producer and the electric utility shall retain any excess kilowatt-hours generated by the customer-generator's interest in an eligible facility during the prior monthly billing period; provided that the excess electricity generated by the customer-generator's interest in an eligible facility, if any, in each monthly billing period shall be carried over to the next month as a monetary value to the credit of the customer-generator, which credit may accumulate and be used to offset the compensation owed the electric utility for the customer-generator's net kilowatt-hour consumption for succeeding months within each twelve-month period; provided further that the electric utility shall reconcile the eligible customer-generator's electricity production and consumption for each twelve-month period as set forth in section 269-G. The customer-generator shall not be owed any compensation for excess kilowatt-hours unless the electric utility enters into a purchase agreement with the customer-generator for those excess kilowatt-hours.

269-J Net electricity consumption or production information. The electric utility shall provide every eligible community net energy metering customer-generator with net electricity consumption or production information with each regular monthly bill, which shall include:

(1) The current monetary balance owed the electric utility for net electricity consumed;

(2) The net electricity produced since the end of the last monthly billing period; and

(3) An accounting of the credits for excess electricity produced by the eligible community net energy metering customer-generator since the last twelve-month reconciliation period that shows credits applied to the monthly billing period and the balance of unused credits, if any.

269-K Termination by eligible community net energy metering customer-generators. If an eligible community net energy metering customer-generator terminates the customer relationship with the electric utility, the electric utility shall reconcile the customer-generator's consumption and production of electricity, including any unused credits for excess electricity from the customer-generator's interest in an eligible facility carried over from prior months, for the period following the last twelve-month reconciliation period to the date of termination of the relationship, according to the requirements set forth in this part.

269-L Safety and performance standards. (a) An eligible facility shall meet all applicable safety and performance standards established by the National Electrical Code, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and accredited testing laboratories such as the Underwriters Laboratories and, where applicable, rules of the public utilities commission regarding safety and reliability.

(b) For systems of ten kilowatts or less, an eligible facility that meets the standards and rules under subsection (a) shall not be required to install additional controls, perform or pay for additional tests, or purchase additional liability insurance.

(c) For eligible facilities of greater than ten kilowatts, the commission, either through decision and order, by tariff adoption, or by rule, may:

(1) Set forth safety, performance, and reliability standards and requirements; and

(2) Establish the qualifications for exemption from a requirement to install additional controls, perform or pay for additional tests, or purchase additional liability insurance."

SECTION 3. In codifying the new sections added by section 2 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the letters used in designating the new sections in this Act.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Community Net Energy Metering; PUC

 

Description:

Establishes a community net energy metering program. Requires the public utilities commission to administer the program.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.