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Net Energy Billing and Distributed Generation




 

Program Offerings

In 2019, the Maine Legislature passed legislation to encourage the development of solar and other small renewable energy projects in the State.  Programs are available that provide opportunities for both residential and non-residential customers to participate in these projects, including ones that allow customers to share the costs and benefits of small solar or other types of renewable energy, sometimes referred to as “Community” projects.

There are two programs available for small solar and other renewable energy projects: Net Energy Billing (NEB) and Distributed Generation (DG).  Within each program, there are structured opportunities for both residential and non-residential customers.

Net Energy Billing Programs:

NEB Kilowatt-Hour Credit program -- Available to residential, commercial, and industrial customers. Customers may choose to have their own project or to share in a project with other customers.  Provides kWh credits on participating customers’ electricity bills

NEB Tariff Rate program -- Available to non-residential customers.  Customers may choose to have their own project or to share in a project with other customers.  Provides dollar credits on participating customers’ electricity bills.  The Commission will set tariff rates by January 1 of every year for the NEB Tariff Rate Program. 

Distributed Generation Programs:
The Maine Public Utilities Commission will procure energy and related products from small renewable energy projects in a series of five procurement rounds.   

Shared Projects– Targeted amount to be procured is 250 MW.  Available to residential, commercial, and industrial customers.  Customers may participate in a shared project by “subscribing” to a portion of the project.  There are minimum subscription requirements, including requirements related to individual subscription sizes and participation by low- and moderate-income customers.  Provides dollar credits on participating customers’ electricity bills.

Commercial and Institutional Projects-- Targeted amount to be procured is 125 MW. Available to non-residential customers.  Customers each have their own project. Provides dollar credits on participating customers’ electricity bills.

 

Net Energy and Net Energy Billing (NEB)

"Net energy" is the difference between the kilowatt-hours consumed by a customer or shared ownership customers and the kilowatt-hours generated by the customer's or shared ownership customers' eligible facility over a billing period.

"Net energy billing" is a billing and metering practice under which a customer or shared ownership customers are billed on the basis of net energy over the billing period taking into account accumulated unused kilowatt-hour credits from the previous billing period.

 

Customer Qualifications

Any customer of a transmission and distribution utility has the right to participate in a net energy billing or distributed generation program.  Residential customers may choose to have their own project, such as by installing solar panels on their rooftop, or to participate in a larger project on a “shared” basis with other customers.  Shared projects are sometimes referred to as “community” projects.  Non-residential customers may choose to have their own project or to share in a project with other commercial or industrial customers.

 

How Net Energy Billing and Distributed Generation Works

NEB- Provides kilowatt-hour or dollar credits on participating customers’ electricity bills.  Customers may accumulate unused kilowatt-hour or dollar credits and apply them against kilowatt-hour usage or total bill charges on a rolling 12-month basis. At the end of each 12-month period, any accumulated unused kilowatt-hour or dollar credits shall be eliminated and may not be applied against any future kilowatt-hour usage or bill charges. The customer will receive no compensation for unused credits.  Customers participating in the tariff rate program will receive a bill credit equal to the tariff rate multiplied by the customer’s share of the facility output during the applicable period. The bill credit shall apply against the total amount of the bill issued to the customer by the transmission and distribution utility but may not result in a negative customer bill. Customers should refer to the MPUC's Chapter 313, Net Energy Billing for more information.

DG- Provides dollar credits on participating customers’ electricity bills.  Rates will be determined through competitive procurements of Shared DG Projects.  Customers may accumulate unused dollar credits and apply them against total bill charges on a rolling 24-month basis. At the end of each 24-month period, any accumulated unused dollar credits shall be eliminated and may not be applied against any future bill charges. The customer will receive no compensation for unused credits. Customers must participate in “shared” projects with other customers.  Minimum subscription requirements apply. Customers should refer to the MPUC's Chapter 312, Distributed Generation Procurement for more information.

 

Net Energy Bill Credits and Generation (Supply)

Kilowatt-hour programs or dollar credit programs can be used to offset both supply as well as delivery charges.  To receive dollar credits on supply, customers enrolled with a competitive energy provider must be billed for supply by Versant Power.

 

Getting Started

For customers with their own project, such as installing solar panels on their rooftop, they must follow the procedures explained in the MPUC Chapter 324, Small Generator Interconnection Procedures and should become familiar the MPUC's Chapter 313, Net Energy Billing. Please see the Distributed Generation Interconnection page.

Community solar and Distributed generation programs will be marketed by registered project sponsors and marketers.  Please refer to the MPUC’s website for a list of registered Project Sponsors and Marketers.  See the list of Registered Project Sponsors, Marketers, etc.

 

Contact Versant Power For More Information

Please send email inquiries to dginterconnections@versantpower.com
Or call 1-800-855-7211 to speak with a customer service representative

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Emera Maine provides electric delivery service to two areas – the Bangor Hydro District and the Maine Public District.

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