net metering program

  • The net metering program enables Michigan's utility, cooperative and AES customers to develop on-site renewable energy electric generation projects to meet some or all of their electric energy needs and reduce their electric bills. Under the net metering program, customers may install an on-site renewable energy electric generation project, such as a wind turbine or solar photovoltaic panel. The project must be sized small enough so that it is no larger than what is needed to meet a customer's electric energy needs. The customer will be able to reduce their electricity purchases from the utility by using their generated electricity "behind the meter" and receive a credit for excess generation.  As of December, 2016, Michigan had over 2,500 customers participating in net metering.

    2016 PA 342 includes a new distributed generation program and directs the Commission to establish the program.  The new energy law states “…the Commission shall conduct a study on an appropriate tariff reflecting equitable cost of service for utility revenue requirements for customers who participate in a net metering program or distributed generation program under the clean and renewable energy and energy waste reduction act…” According to the timeline in the law, the cost-of-service based distributed generation tariff study must be completed by April 2018 in order for consideration as part of utility rate cases filed after June 1, 2018.  The new distributed generation tariff will go into effect at the conclusion of each utility’s rate case. 

    The Commission issued an order on July 12, 2017 finding that the net metering program shall continue as the distributed generation program until the new distributed generation tariffs are approved.  Customers who enter the distributed generation program during this interim period may continue to net meter for 10 years from the date of their enrollment. 

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