New legislation would keep net metering until 2021
“With Long Island solar installations dropping 44% between 2016 and 2017, now is not the time to introduce a new Value of Distributed Energy Resources System (VDER) crediting mechanism that causes confusion and unpredictability,” said Assemblymember Steve Englebright (D-Setauket). “The Public Service Commission (PSC) has badly bungled the rollout of the new VDER system, which is likely to further depress solar installations.”
“New York State has set robust renewable energy targets, but solar still accounts for less than 1% of the total energy production in the State”, Englebright added. “This bill brings back the predictability of net metering by providing easily calculable costs and benefits for all stakeholders including consumers and project sponsors. My legislation will help to ensure that solar and other renewable energy technologies are valued in a fair and accurate way.”
“All New Yorkers should have access to clean and affordable power, and this legislation is a necessary step in achieving that goal”, said Assemblyman Englebright. Englebright, the father of net-metering, was the first legislator to pass solar and wind net-metering laws in the 1990s.
Since its enactment, net energy metering has encouraged the generation of renewable energy by allowing eligible customers to receive a credit on their bill for electricity delivered to the grid. Compensation under VDER is variable as factors such as time and the location of the generating system affect the dollar credit that customers see on their energy bill.
The legislation would continue net metering rates that were in effect as of March 1, 2017 through December 31, 2021. Further, the PSC would have to reevaluate the creation of a “value of distributed energy resources” crediting mechanism to account for the full benefits of renewable energy and have a plan in place no later than June 30, 2021.
Anne Reynolds of the Alliance for Clean
Energy New York stated, “To maintain and grow momentum in the solar industry, the transition from net energy metering to an unproven new system needs to be smooth and gradual. We appreciate Assemblyman Englebright’s recognition that net energy metering has worked well for New York, and that the solar industry’s success can help New York respond to the critical issue of climate change. We look forward to working with the Assemblyman on this bill.”
“We applaud Assemblyman Englebright for his leadership on this critically important issue” said Melissa Kemp, Policy Co-Chair for NYSEIA, a trade association representing hundreds of solar businesses with thousands of employees across New York State. “Our members are encouraged by Governor Cuomo’s ambitious clean energy agenda, and we look forward to working with stakeholders to develop real, workable rules at the Public Service Commission and LIPA to realize those goals. Distributed solar has the potential to bring significant investment dollars, jobs, and more reliable clean energy to communities across New York State, but the industry needs a stable, accurate, and business-friendly policy environment to flourish and this legislation will help to achieve it.”
“Valuing distributed energy resources requires a holistic approach to be successful. The new VDER order singles out renewable energy net exports prematurely before dynamic retail electricity pricing, energy storage programs, and smart meter data are available. The result is a system that is far more complicated than necessary and ill-suited to successfully deploy clean energy,” said Tara Bono, LISEIA Board Member. “We have some work to do to ensure a fair rollout of dynamic electricity pricing in New York State for all consumers and stakeholders. We look forward to working with the Assembly to ensure that New York State values distributed energy resources on a fair playing field and accurately assesses the benefits of renewable energy to our economy and environment.”
The bill is sponsored in the Senate by the Energy Chair Senator Joseph Griffo (R-Rome).