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POSTPONED: Springfield City Council Meeting Net Metering Ordinance

A future City Council Meeting will include discussion of the newly introduced net metering ordinance to “grandfather” net metering, at the retail rate, for those that have already installed solar and to restore single metering (see the graphic above as to how solar should work and now doesn’t in Springfield) to all systems 25kW and less versus the dual meter system that CWLP has imposed this year. The ordinance is being amended prior to discussion. Please come to the meeting when new date is announced to offer your comments to City Council in person OR call you alderman/woman to share your thoughts. Here are some talking points to help facilitate either option:

1) Residential and small business system owners that have paid to put solar on their roofs or property ought to have an opportunity to feed their own loads FIRST- not be required to send EVERYTHING a privately owned system produces back onto CWLP’s lines.
2) With a single meter system, solar owners know that they will always be offsetting their consumption “behind the meter” (at their load center/breaker box) at full retail, even if their excess production that is fed back to the grid through a net meter does need to be amended at sometime in the future.
3) The dual meter system will NOT allow for the addition of batteries in the future to store excess generation versus sending it back onto CWLP’s lines or power critical loads in the event of a CWLP grid outage.
4) The dual meter system does not provide certainty in terms of knowing what the feedback rate will be over the 25 year warranted lifetime of the solar system as that rate can be amended at anytime at the suggestion of CWLP (with council approval).
5) The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) that was shared earlier this year calls for the closure of three of the four coal fired plants that currently supply power to the city of Springfield with continued operation of the fourth plant being marginal based on the price of coal. The IRP also called for immediate integration of more renewable energy. The citizens and businesses of Springfield can help with this by purchasing their own systems if they know they can count on a solid payback for their investment.
6) Solar integration in CWLP territority is presently less than 1/2 of 1% of CWLP’s load. Any discussion about changing the rate to something less than retail is premature at this point. The investor owned utilities do not even start this conversation until the renewable penetration percentage reaches 3% of load.
7) Every 10kW system (the average residential size) installed offsets approximately 10 tons of carbon emissions each year versus having the same amount of electricity produced by traditional fossil fuel sources. We care about our environment and want clean energy integration to grow!

Alderwoman Kristin DiCenso has introduced the new ordinance and Alderwoman Erin Conley has signed on as a co-sponsor. Thank you to both! Below is a copy of the ordinance as it was introduced. There will be some amendments before discussion ensues at a city council meeting and I will update this section accordingly to keep it current.

Section 50.38 Net metering (NEW)

(a) Net metering service means service to an electric consumer under which electric energy generated by that electric consumer from an eligible on-site generating facility and delivered to the local CWLP distribution facilities may be used to offset electric energy provided by CWLP to the electric consumer during the applicable billing period. The value of the offset shall equate to the retail rate applicable to the consumer at the time of delivery of the energy to the local CWLP distribution facilities. Electric consumers taking net metering service may consume their on-site generated energy and shall not be required to deliver all generated energy to CWLP.

(b) CWLP customers with a renewable energy generator of 25kW or less are eligible for net metering service upon request. Any renewable energy generator over 25kW will be reasonably subject to CWLP engineering review and approval.

(c) To the extent additional facilities are necessary to accommodate net metering, CWLP may require a supplemental facility charge consisting of CWLP’s cost to provide the additional facilities. A supplemental facility charge assessed on such customers shall be demonstrable and cost-based.

(d) Any recurring costs CWLP incurs associated with net metering may be assessed as a monthly fee on customers utilizing net metering service. Fees assessed on such customers shall be demonstrable and cost-based.

(e) Energy generated by the customer in excess of the energy required by the customer’s load during a billing period shall be carried forward to the next billing period. Upon closing of an account the customer shall surrender to CWLP any excess energy. Under no circumstances will there be payments or credit transfers for excess energy. Excess energy carried forward to the next billing period, however, is transferable to another premises of the same customer within the CWLP territory.

(f) The customer will be required to enter into a contract for a net metering service consistent with the provisions of this Section 50.38.

(g) A customer taking net metering service from CWLP shall hold CWLP harmless for any liabilities associated with the operation of the customer’s generating facilities.

(h) To the extent that the availability of net metering service is terminated or curtailed by amendment of this ordinance, customers taking net metering service prior to such termination or curtailment shall be given the option to continue net metering service, as long as they own their renewable energy generator at the current location, under the ordinance provisions applicable when they began receiving net metering service for such generator. CWLP shall notify any such customers of their options under this subsection (h).

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