NH: Bills filed to alleviate net metering drama


As more utilities approach their aggregate net metering caps, several bills addressing net metering have been pre-filed in New Hampshire for the 2016 legislative session. LSR 2016-2124 has been filed by Rep. Edelblut (R), who has stated that he is working with a broad coalition of solar developers, utilities and legislators on a short-term solution that would raise the aggregate net cap by 20 MW (i.e., from 50 MW to 70 MW). Additional pre-filed bills include LSR 2016-2270, filed by Rep. Mann (M); LSR 2016-2764, filed by Sen. Bradley (R); and LSR 2016-2245, filed by Rep. Takesian (R) — but since withdrawn. The text of these bills will become available in January, when New Hampshire’s 2016 legislative session begins.

At least two New Hampshire utilities — Liberty Utilities and New Hampshire Electric Cooperative — have already reached their aggregate net metering caps. Some utilities, including Eversource and Unitil, are providing data on their websites to keep the public informed of the capacity remaining in their service territories.

A new white paper published by EQ Research, The Great Guessing Game: How Much Net Metering Capacity is Left?, describes how weak reporting requirements for net metering in some U.S. states are needlessly creating murky market conditions for distributed solar PV and other renewables. This study describes net metering reporting requirements and practices in 13 U.S. states, and offers nine recommendations for improving such requirements and practices.