Note: On May 12, 2015 Georgia's governor signed House Bill 57 which allows residential and commercial customers to enter into third party financing deals for solar systems.
The Georgia Cogeneration and Distributed Generation Act of 2001 requires all utilities -- investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities and electric cooperatives -- to offer bidirectional or single directional metering to customer generators, depending on how the customer's facility is connected to the grid. Eligible technologies include photovoltaic (PV) systems, fuel cells and wind turbines up to 10 kilowatts (kW) in capacity for residential applications, and systems up to 100 kW for commercial applications. The aggregate capacity of such systems is limited to 0.2% of a utility's system peak demand from the previous year.
Systems connected on the customer's side of the meter use a bi-directional meter, and any net excess generation (NEG) is credited to the customer's next bill at a predetermined rate filed with the Georgia Public Service Commission. Alternatively, a customer may choose to sell all electricity from a system (rather than using the electricity generated by the system) by connecting ahead of the meter.
HB 57 allows residential and commercial customers to work with third parties to install, operate, lease, and/or finance solar systems. The limit for residential customers is 10 kW and the limit for commercial customers is 125% of the actual or expected peak demand of the premises. All systems must meet applicable safety, power quality, and interconnection requirements. Commercial systems above 100 kW and residential systems above 10 kW are not explicitly prohibited at this time but may be subject to additional compliance requirements.
Customers should contact their utility to see if it offers net metering. Net energy metering tariffs filed by cooperatives are recorded in Docket # 31536 on the Georgia Public Service Commission's website.