The Maine Public Utilities Commission is set to consider opening an inquiry into the state's net energy billing rules, which allow electric utility customers to offset their load with distributed generation.
Under Maine's form of net metering, customers with qualifying distributed electric generation
may net the power they produce against their consumption of power from
the grid. The Maine Public Utilities Commission adopted rules governing this "net energy billing"
or net metering arrangement, which is a key incentive for customer-scale solar photovoltaic
projects in Maine.
But those rules, found in Chapter 313 of the Commission's regulations, provide for an agency review of net metering as more customers go solar or participate in other net-metered distributed generation. Earlier this year, Maine transmission and distribution utility Central Maine Power Company notified the Commission that the cumulative capacity of net metered generating facilities in its service territory had exceeded 1 percent of annual peak demand. By rule, this notification will trigger a review by the Commission "to determine
whether net energy billing ... should continue or be
The Commission has now placed consideration of a Notice of Inquiry related to this item on its agenda for deliberations on June 14, 2016.