Interconnection Dispute Resolution Process
To resolve disputes regarding interconnection of rooftop solar, battery storage, or any other type of distributed generation facility, the Commission has established a dispute resolution process. The dispute resolution process is established in Section 15 of Chapter 324 of the Commission’s Rules.
Overview of the Dispute Resolution Process:
- A party with a dispute about the interconnection of their rooftop solar, battery storage, or any other type of distributed generation facility notifies the other party(ies) about the dispute to initiate the dispute resolution process.
- Parties engage in good faith negotiations to attempt to resolve the dispute.
- If parties do not reach a resolution during good faith negotiations, either party may notify Commission Staff to schedule a time for parties and Commission Staff to discuss the dispute during informal dispute resolution.
- If good faith negotiations and informal dispute resolution are unsuccessful, a formal Commission proceeding and decision may be necessary to resolve the dispute. Commission Staff will help schedule a formal adjudicatory proceeding.
Any questions related to the dispute resolution process should be directed to Commission Staff at email@example.com.
Initiation of Dispute Resolution:
Any party (including but not limited to an interconnection customer, utility, and solar installer/developer) may initiate the dispute resolution process by notifying the other party(ies) in writing of the dispute. The written notice should state that the party is initiating good faith negotiations and include a description of the dispute and the requested resolution. Commission Staff strongly encourages initiating this process by submitting an online Dispute Resolution Form. If the party requesting dispute resolution chooses not to use the online form, they must provide their written notice to the other party(ies) via email. (Contact information for the utilities is included at the bottom of the page.)
Process for Initiating Dispute Resolution:
- Confirm the dispute is about the interconnection process. For example, if your rooftop solar or other distributed generation system is already connected to the grid, and you have a dispute about Net Energy Billing (NEB), such as a dispute about the application of your NEB credits, please refer to the process described on the Commission’s NEB Rapid Response Webpage.
- Notify all parties who have been involved with the project that you are seeking dispute resolution. Those parties could include the developer who helped install the facility, the customer who owns the facility, and the utility who owns and operates the system to which the facility will be connected.
- If you choose to use the online form, both the utility and developer (if applicable) will automatically be notified when the online form is submitted.
- If you choose not to use the online form, be sure to clearly state your intention is to initiate good faith negotiations when notifying the other party(ies).
Good Faith Negotiations:
Within 5 business days of providing written notice or submitting an online form, the parties must begin negotiating in good faith to resolve the dispute. Good faith negotiations are between the parties and do not involve Commission Staff. The Commission recommends that all parties retain a record of all communications and efforts made by each party during this step of the process.
Good Faith Negotiation Process:
- Parties have 5 business days to begin negotiations.
- Individuals participating in negotiations must have the ability to make binding decisions on behalf of their respective party.
- Parties have a minimum of 8 calendar days to negotiate.
- Parties may agree to continue good faith negotiations for more than 8 calendar days if necessary to conclude negotiations. After 8 calendar days any party has the option to decide that negotiations are not resolving the dispute and choose to proceed to informal dispute resolution.
Informal Dispute Resolution:
If after 8 calendar days the dispute remains unresolved, any party may provide written notice to the other party(ies) and Commission Staff. Written notice should be provided to Commission Staff at firstname.lastname@example.org. The written notice should indicate that good faith negotiations have been unsuccessful and that the party wishes to proceed to informal dispute resolution. This written notice must include:
- A description of the dispute, including the name of the utility and project developer (if applicable).
- The desired outcome of the party requesting dispute resolution.
- A timeline of the events involved in the dispute.
- A summary of good faith negotiations.
- Any additional information and supporting documentation the party believes is relevant to the dispute.
Within 10 business days of receiving the written notice initiating informal dispute resolution, the other party(ies) must submit their own written description of the dispute and their position to Commission Staff and the other party(ies). Within 20 business days of receiving the written response from the other party(ies), Commission Staff will schedule a meeting with all parties for informal mediation and resolution of the dispute. Commission Staff may schedule additional meetings or request additional information, as necessary, to continue facilitating discussions towards a resolution agreed upon by the parties. If the parties agree upon a resolution, the matter will be closed.
Informal Dispute Resolution Process:
- A party initiates informal dispute resolution by sending a written notice to the other party(ies) and Commission Staff that includes detailed information about the dispute and the position of the party.
- All other parties must respond to the written notice in writing within 10 business days. The response should include their own description of the dispute and their position. This response must be sent to Commission Staff and the other party(ies).
- Commission Staff will schedule informal dispute resolution discussion(s) within 20 business days of receiving the information from all parties.
- Commission Staff and all parties will meet virtually, in person, or in a hybrid format to discuss the dispute and attempt to reach a resolution.
If the parties do not reach a resolution following good faith negotiations and informal dispute resolution, any party may provide written notice to Commission Staff requesting a formal adjudicatory Commission proceeding to resolve the dispute in accordance with Chapter 110 of the Commission’s Rules. If necessary, Commission Staff may initiate an adjudicatory proceeding without a formal request from a party.