Pennsylvania Adopts Net Metering for Small, Renewable Power Generators

June 23, 2006

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) adopted rules on June 22 to allow small power generators using renewable energy resources to connect to the grid through net metering. Net metering allows the connection of small power generators to the grid using a single electric meter. This arrangement is the simplest for interconnecting power generators to the grid since it minimizes bookkeeping and uses existing equipment.

In effect, the PUC rules require power companies to reimburse small power generators at the retail rate for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) produced. If the small power generator consumes more than it produces, it owes the power company for the balance of kWh, as shown on the meter. If the generator produces more than it consumes, the power company will compensate the producer.

The Pennsylvania PUC rules also include provisions that allow for small businesses to combine separate meters used within a single operation. This provision is intended to benefit commonly owned and operated farming operations. Read the PUC June 22 press release.

The PUC took the action to comply the Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act. Enacted in November 2004, the act requires that 18% of electricity generated in the state to derive from renewable energy resources in 2021. The Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy publishes details about the Pennsylvania portfolio standard.