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Proposed Rule on Customer Net Energy Billing

December 19, 2016

Hallowell, Maine – The Maine Public Utilities Commission (Commission) announced today that it is continuing its review of the comments received from its September 13, 2016 Proposed Rule on net energy billing and hopes to decide the rulemaking issues during the first part of 2017. The Commission held a public hearing on the Proposed Rule on October 17, 2016 and received several hundred written comments as well. Until a final Rule is issued, the existing rules for net energy billing customers remain in place.

"This is an important Rule and more time is needed to consider the Proposed Rule in light of the comments we received to ensure that the Rule treats all ratepayers in a fair manner" noted Commission Chairman Mark Vannoy. "It remains clear that changes in technology and costs of small renewable generation, particularly solar PV, require a careful review of the current Rule and potential modifications. The comments and participation of stakeholders to date have been helpful. The rulemaking process is iterative and therefore takes time. This process is occurring pursuant to the current law and Rule. Should the Legislature change the applicable law, the Commission will act accordingly," concluded Vannoy.

Background: Chapter 313 of the Commission’s rules governs net energy billing (NEB) in Maine. NEB is a metering and billing mechanism that is generally used to promote the development and operation of smaller renewable generation facilities. In January 2016, Central Maine Power Company (CMP) filed a letter stating that, at the end of calendar year 2015, the cumulative capacity of the generating facilities for which CMP has net energy billing agreements under Chapter 313 is approximately 1.04% of CMP’s annual peak demand. Consequently, CMP requested that the Commission undertake the review of net energy billing required by Section 3(J) of Chapter 313. In response to the CMP January 14, 2016 letter, the Commission, on June 14, 2016, issued a Notice of Inquiry to obtain comment and information from interested persons regarding Maine’s NEB rules and whether the rules should be modified in light of changing economics and markets. On September 13, 2016 the Commission issued a Proposed Rule and requested comments on that rule.

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The Maine Public Utilities Commission regulates electric, telephone, water and gas utilities to ensure that Maine citizens have access to safe and reliable utility service at rates that are just and reasonable for all ratepayers. Commission programs include Maine Enhanced 911 Service, and Dig Safe.


Contact: Harry Lanphear, 287-3831