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Net Metering

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Program Info
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Net Metering
The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) issued an order on January 26, 1982 requiring all regulated utilities to file tariffs allowing net metering to customers that generate electricity with systems up to 20 kilowatts (kW)* in capacity.

Eligibility and Availability

The order applies to investor-owned utilities and municipal utilities, but not to electric cooperatives. All distributed-generation (DG) systems, including renewables and combined heat and power (CHP), are eligible. There is no limit on total enrollment.

Net Excess Generation

The PSC has not adopted administrative rules for net metering.** Utilities' net-metering tariffs contain some variations. Customer net excess generation (NEG) is generally credited at the utility's retail rate for renewables, and at the utility's avoided-cost rate for non-renewables. NEG credit is carried over to the customer's next bill. If NEG credit exceeds $25, then the utility must issue a check for the amount, payable to the customer. In December 2011, the PSC approved a process for Xcel to reconcile NEG credits to customers on an annual basis at the avoided-cost rate.

Community Solar Gardens

In April 2015 the Public Service Commission approved the Northern States Power Company of Wisconsin's request for a community Solar Garden program - "Solar Connect Community". The maximum aggregate for the gardenwill be 3 MW with 3 or 4 arrays generating 1 MW. Subscriptions will be paid upfront for a twenty five year contract with a 400 kilowatt limit to be purchased in 200 watt increments. Bill credits would be $0.069/kWh or $0.074/kWh depended on system size.

* Some utilities allow net metering for systems larger than 20 kW. In these cases, excess generation rates, carry-over processes, and capacity limits vary by utility. These provisions are specified in the utility tariffs.

** Subsequent PSC decisions issued June 21, 1983 in docket numbers 05-ER-11, 05-ER-12 and 05-ER-13, further implemented Sections 201 and 210 of the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act of 1978 (PURPA). These decisions were confirmed by an order issued September 18, 1992, in docket number 05-EP-6. This last order addresses net metering as it applies to Wisconsin's investor-owned utilities.