- Maine lawmakers are preparing to vote on bills that would preserve the state's retail net metering program, Daily Energy Insider reports. Two approaches are being considered in separate pieces of legislation.
- Legislative Document 1373 would amend existing law to prohibit new fees on solar customers, and would ensure customers with solar panels receive credits for delivery and supply charges.
- In late January, the Maine Public Utilities Commission approved revisions to the state's net metering policies, grandfathering an existing customer into original retail rates for 15 years but slowly reducing new customer rates each year.
Lawmakers in both Maine's chambers referred LD 1373 to the joint standing Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee, which subsequently held a public hearing, possibly setting up a vote.
The bill "prohibits a charge to a customer that elects to use net energy billing," according to the legislation. And it provides that customers using net energy billing receive bill credits netted against delivery and supply charges on a one-to-one basis and provides provides that unused bill credits accumulate on a 12-month rolling basis.
The second measure, LD 1504, would repeal the PUC's decision entirely and prohibit the commission from limiting customer participation in community net metered projects. That piece of legislation was reported out of committee last week, designated "Ought to Pass as Amended."
Earlier this year, state regulators made changes to the state's net metering policies, grandfathering an existing customer's retail rate for 15 years but gradually reducing new customer incentives each year.
The PSC's decision means that solar customers signing up after January 1, 2018, will see their transmission and distribution credit of the bill decline over a 10-year span, but still receive a full credit for the supply side. A customer who signs up in the first year of this policy will receive the fully supply credit and 90% of the transmission and distribution credit locked in for 15 years.