Today, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (MA DOER) and representatives from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), New England Clean Energy Council (NECEC), and the Massachusetts regulated utilities presented their legislative proposal to address lifting solar net metering caps.
What This Legislation Covers
While the issue at hand is solar net metering, the bill also addresses several other areas, including the following:
- Shifting the state’s successful, competitive Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) incentive program to a declining block incentive program centrally administered by the MA regulated utilities (note SREC-I and SREC-II would be left in place as is. New capacity under SREC-II could be qualified through 2015);
- Restructuring the rules associated with behind the meter, virtual meter, and non-net metered “merchant” projects; and
- Implementing a minimum bill, regardless of electricity used, for all regulated utility customers.
Unknown Aspects To Be Determined
Under the current version of the legislation, pricing for the declining block incentive program has not yet been set. It is proposed that the, “declining block values will be established through a DOER stakeholder process and DPU adjudication and will consider differential economic needs of various market sectors”. Additionally, “the amount of the minimum bill will be set in a DPU proceeding”.
At this point, the bill is subject to a legislative process. The state’s Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy (TUE) is expected to move to refer a version of the legislation out of committee by Friday, June 13th. From there it is believed to be reviewed by the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. If this legislation were to move forward, it would then need to be moved to the floor of the senate or the house, passed, referred to the other side of the legislature and passed, and then signed into law by the Governor.
If you would like to influence the legislative process, we suggest you reach out to the TUE or Ways and Means committees and express your thoughts. Additionally, for a directory of MA legislators click here.
This process remains fluid with more information and updates forthcoming. We’ll continue to provide updates on our blog as they are available.Tweet