The eastern US state of New Hampshire has put in place new interim rules governing the use of virtual net metering for renewable energy generators of up to 1MW capacity.
New Hampshire passed a net metering bill in July which permits owners of net metered renewable energy facilities to share the proceeds of electricity generated with other holders of electricity utility accounts. The latest amendment to Senate Bill 98 (SB 98), the legislative bill enabling virtual net metering, also known as group net metering, came into effect at the beginning of this year after a consultation with the Public Utilities Commission.
Under the new rules, renewable energy generators will sign up as ‘hosts’ of the programme. Bill payers purchasing electricity from the same utility company the host is contracted with can register to join a group with the host responsible for keeping an up to date list of group members.
It will then be the role of a distribution utility company to pay for the host generator’s surplus electricity on a monthly basis. By the beginning of June each year, if the group of consumers has used less electricity than was generated by the host, the host will be eligible for a payment adjustment based on the amount by which the host’s generated exceeded the group’s total use.
Net metering for individual customers has been in place in the state since 1998, with systems of up to 1MW eligible if they generate electricity using solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, tidal, wave, biomass, landfill gas, bio-oil or biodiesel. Combined heat and power systems using natural gas, wood pellets, hydrogen, propane or heating oil are also eligible, providing they have a system efficiency of at least 80%.