DPU's Delay of the Net Metering Cap Increases
May 4, 2016
Governor Baker signed into law Chapter 75 of the Acts of 2016 on April 11, 2016. The act included an emergency preamble that was adopted through separate, unanimous votes of the members present and voting in both the House and Senate on April 7th. This was confirmed through Clerks' offices and the journals of both houses.
Sections 5 & 6 of the Act, which clearly specify that the net metering capacity limits should be raised, should have taken immediate effect on April 11, 2016.
The DPU has not raised the net metering caps to date. Why? The bill was signed into law 3 weeks ago, and the net metering capacity limits have still not been raised. I have asked the DPU for an explanation and to inform me when the limits would be raised, and they have not provided a substantive answer. This is the extent of the only reply (explanation) that I have been provided to date:
"We are still working on the details therefore I cannot provide any timeline. As soon as we have answers, we will be sure to share them. "
There is little uncertainty regarding Sections 5 & 6 of the Act pertaining to the increase in the net metering capacity limits. The sections edited 2 numbers in the statute. Here they are in their entirety:
SECTION 5. Said section 139 of said chapter 164, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 73, the figure “4” and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- 7.SECTION 6. Said section 139 of said chapter 164, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 75, the figure “5” and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- 8
The delay in raising the caps is causing particular harm to certain constituents, and is clearly in contravention to the law, which is pretty straightforward on this particular matter. What "details" must be examined in order to raise the caps? While Section 4 of the Act may be somewhat confusing and require time for analysis, it's effective date was delayed by 30 days by Section 12. There was no delay specified for Sections 5 & 6.
This inaction causes particular harm to a group of pending facilities that do not have a strong lobbying voice, and no solar organization is standing up for them (yet). Systems over 10 kWac, but no larger than 25 kWdc, and who are on a net metering waiting list, are being denied an opportunity to interconnect their systems under the current net metering terms, before the transition to the new Market Net Metering Credit rates take effect. DOER has refused to honor their SREC II applications for assurance, even if they were properly filed prior to the 1600 MW SREC II cap being reached. The only way that they can qualify for SREC II is to obtain their PTO and provide it to the DOER before the transition date. They cannot do that until the NM caps are raised...and DPU is refusing to do it, even though they were legally required to raise the caps on April 11, 2016.
If you know of anyone who is in this predicament, please inform their representatives in the House and Senate, as well as the EEA/DPU, that the DPU's refusal to honor the recently passed legislation is causing them significant harm.
Why is the Baker Administration refusing to raise the Net Metering Caps?
Russ Aney, CEO
Avid Solar LLC