This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
Utah Enacts Net Metering Legislation, Kentucky Starts Pilot
Utah and Kentucky have joined the ranks of states in which the state's utilities offer net metering to their customers. Net metering allows customers to install their own power generation systems and feed excess power back into the grid. Customers are billed only for their net electricity use over a month or a year - ideally, their meter turns backwards when they are feeding power into the grid. Net metering is usually limited to clean power sources of a certain size. The Utah legislation, which takes effect next week, applies to renewable energy and fuel cell installations of not more than 25 kilowatts. See the Utah bill.
In Kentucky, net metering will be tested through pilot programs run by the Louisville Gas and Electric Company and the Kentucky Utilities Company. The three-year pilots will allow 25 customers of each utility to try net metering, with residential customers limited to 10-kilowatt systems and non-residential customers limited to 25-kilowatt systems. The pilot applies to wind, hydropower, and solar installations. The utilities will install sophisticated meters to examine whether the systems feed power to the grid during peak or off-peak periods, with the intent of determining the costs and benefits of the program. See the PSC March 14th order, number 2001-00303 (PDF 15 KB). Download Acrobat Reader
Net metering is now available to some extent in 36 states. Most of the states require net metering by legislation. For a summary of these programs, see the EREN Green Power Web site.