Last spring the NJ BPU quietly proposed a change to the renewable portfolio standard rules that would require revenue grade meters for all existing and future solar systems generating NJ SRECs, regardless of size. The change was buried deep in a number of minor updates to the portfolio standard rules, you’ll have to scroll down to page 8 at http://www.njcleanenergy.com/files/file/Renewable_Programs/PRN%202011-110%20(43%20NJR%201162(a)).pdf and look carefully. By the clever use of [ ] the paragraph in the rules that previously allowed the use of engineering estimates for systems less than 10kw is eliminated. What does this mean for solar system owners in NJ?
1. Everyone will have to install a revenue grade meter and in order to continue to create SRECs, even existing systems less than 10kw. There is no grandfathering clause. Note that most existing inverter meters or online monitoring systems do not meet the revenue grade requirement. As a result, most existing systems less than 10kw without a separate meter will need to contact their installer or an electrician to have a new meter installed.
2. Everyone will have to enter monthly meter readings in order to be credited with SRECs. Most metering systems are not set up to automatically enter meter readings each month, even online systems. SRECTrade customers enrolled in the EasyREC asset management system can enter their readings online through their SRECTrade.com account and be assured that their generation will be credited properly.
These requirements go into effect 6 months after the BPU passes the rule change. While the public comment period ended on July 1, 2011, the BPU has not yet acted on the rules and has no published schedule for when they intend to do so. As a result, these rules are not yet in effect and they may not ever go into effect, so you may not want to have the meter installed until you know you’ll have to. While the comment period is closed, the email address firstname.lastname@example.org is always open and it can’t hurt to express your opinion on this rule change if you feel you will be impacted by it.
SRECTrade will continue to monitor this issue and post any updates as they occur. SRECTrade clients will be personally emailed if and when an additional meter is required for their systems.