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Net Metering

Eligibility 
Agricultural
Commercial
Industrial
Residential
Local Government
Multi-Family Residential
Nonprofit
Savings Category 
Fuel Cells
Photovoltaics
Program Info
State 
West Virginia
Program Type 
Net Metering
Provider 
West Virginia Public Service Commission

Net metering in West Virginia is available to all retail electricity customers. System capacity limits vary depending on the customer type and electric utility type, according to the following table.

Customer Type IOUs with 30,000 customers or more IOUs with fewer than 30,000 customers, municipal utilities, electric cooperatives
Residential 25 kW 25 kW
Commercial 500 kW 50 kW
Industrial 2 MW 50 kW

Systems that generate electricity using "alternative" or "renewable energy" resources are eligible for net metering, including photovoltaics (PV), wind, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas, run of the river hydropower, biofuels, fuel cells, and combined heat and power (technically called "recycled energy" in the rules). Net excess generation (NEG) may be carried over to a customer-generator's next bill as a kilowatt-hour (kWh) credit at retail rate and may be rolled over, indefinitely. The credits may only be applied to the energy portion of the bill (not fixed costs or demand charges, for example). Customers may aggregate meters (either physically or virtually) and apply net metering credits earned on one meter to additional meters, as long as they are located within two miles of the point of generation. The associated costs of meter aggregation are the responsibility of the customer. Net-metering tariffs must be identical in rate structure, retail-rate components, and monthly charges, to the tariff for which the customer would qualify if that customer were not a customer-generator. Customers on a time-of-use (TOU) tariff are permitted to net meter.

Net metering may be accomplished using a single, bi-directional meter or two meters. In the event that two meters are used, the net number of kWh for billing purposes will be determined by subtracting the amount of electricity flowing from the customer to the utility from the amount of electricity flowing from the utility to the customer.

The issue of who owns the alternative energy credits (also known as renewable energy credits, or RECs) remains unresolved. The PSC must establish rules regarding alternative energy credits for the alternative energy portfolio standard, and as a result, the PSC has not yet addressed credit ownership for the purpose of net metering.

Each customer with a net-metered system up to 50 kW must carry a minimum of $100,000 in liability insurance. Customers with systems greater than 50 kW and up to 500 kW are required to carry a minimum of $500,000, and customers with systems greater than 500 kW must carry a minimum of $1 million in liability insurance.

History

The West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) approved consensus filings regarding net metering and interconnection guidelines in December 2006. The approved consensus provisions include proposed rules that apply to all electric utilities in the state. Utility tariffs incorporating the consensus net-metering provisions took effect in March 2007. In June 2010, the PSC adopted new net metering and interconnection procedures. In May 2011, the PSC clarified the definition of "run-of-river hydropower" to match the definition in the Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard.