At a public meeting held on October 14, 2009, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (Commission) voted to adopt new regulations establishing net metering requirements for economically regulated utilities. 

Net metering serves as an important incentive for consumer investment in renewable energy generation.  It allows a customer of an economically regulated utility to interconnect eligible onsite generation facilities with their electric utility's distribution system.  The customer-generated electricity can be used to offset their electricity consumption on a kilowatt-hour (kWh) basis. The amount of customer generated power is compared to their consumption for the applicable billing period.  If the utility supplied more power than the customer produced during the monthly billing period, the customer will be billed for net electric consumption at the retail rate.  If the customer produced more power than the utility supplied to them during the billing period, the customer will receive a dollar credit towards their next bill, calculated by using the non-firm power rate approved quarterly by the commission for their electric utility.

The Commission is expected to release an Order adopting the regulations. The regulations will not become effective until after review by offices of the Attorney General and Lt. Governor.  Below is a brief summary of the regulations.

3 AAC 50.900 addresses the applicability of regulations governing net metering requirements, identifying categories of electric utilities subject to net metering requirements. In general, the regulations apply to electric systems owned by economically regulated electric utilities with total retail sales of 5,000,000 kWh or more.

3 AAC 50.910 specifies circumstances where an electric utility is required to provide net metering services.  Affected utilities are required to interconnect with eligible customer generation systems up to a system-wide total capacity of 1.5% of their average retail demand. 

3 AAC 50.920 establishes criteria for eligible consumer generation systems.  Eligible customer generation systems are limited to a total on-site capacity of 25 kilowatts.

3 AAC 50.930 addresses billing issues regarding net metering customers, who are billed for net consumption and receive bill credits when the customer’s generation exceeds usage. Participating consumers will have a monthly billing and “true-up” cycle.

3 AAC 50.940 allows the Commission to establish interconnection requirements for eligible customer generation systems.

3 AAC 50.949 defines terms used in regulations addressing net metering.  Within the definitions, the technologies eligible for net metering generation are limited to solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, wind, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal, hydrokinetic, ocean thermal, landfill gas and biogas energy, along with other sources as approved by the commission that generally have similar environmental impact.

For more information, click on the file below or type in "R-09-001" in the Find a Matter search box from the Commission's website.


R-09-01 Comment Summary and Staff Recommendation
Date Issued: 10/15/2009