S-4203.1  _______________________________________________


                         SENATE BILL 6692



State of Washington      55th Legislature     1998 Regular Session


By Senators Jacobsen, Brown and Fraser


Read first time 01/27/98.  Referred to Committee on Energy & Utilities.

Requiring electric utilities to provide net metering systems to their customer-generators.

    AN ACT Relating to net metering for certain renewable energy systems; and adding a new chapter to Title 80 RCW.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature finds that it is in the public interest to:

    (1) Encourage private investment in renewable energy resources;

    (2) Stimulate the economic growth of this state; and

    (3) Enhance the continued diversification of the energy resources used in this state.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

    (1) "Commission" means the utilities and transportation commission.

    (2) "Customer-generator" means a user of a net metering system.

    (3) "Electrical company" means a company owned by investors that meets the definition of RCW 80.04.010.

    (4) "Electric cooperative" means a cooperative or association organized under chapter 23.86 or 24.06 RCW.

    (5) "Electric utility" means any electrical company, public utility district, irrigation district, port district, electric cooperative, or municipal electric utility that is engaged in the business of distributing electricity to retail electric customers in the state.

    (6) "Irrigation district" means an irrigation district under chapter 87.03 RCW.

    (7) "Municipal electric utility" means a city or town that owns or operates an electric utility authorized by chapter 35.92 RCW.

    (8) "Net metering" means measuring the difference between the electricity supplied by an electric utility and the electricity generated by a customer-generator that is fed back to the electric utility over the applicable billing period.

    (9) "Net metering system" means a facility for the production of electrical energy that:

    (a) Uses as its fuel either solar, wind, or hydropower;

    (b) Has a generating capacity of not more than twenty-five kilowatts;

    (c) Is located on the customer-generator's premises;

    (d) Operates in parallel with the electric utility's transmission and distribution facilities; and

    (e) Is intended primarily to offset part or all of the customer-generator's requirements for electricity.

    (10) "Port district" means a port district within which an industrial development district has been established as authorized by Title 53 RCW.

    (11) "Public utility district" means a district authorized by chapter 54.04 RCW.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  An electric utility:

    (1) Shall offer to make available to each of its eligible customer-generators that has installed a net metering system an energy meter that is capable of registering the flow of electricity in two directions;

    (2) May, at its own expense and with the written consent of the customer-generator, install one or more additional meters to monitor the flow of electricity in each direction;

    (3) Shall not charge a customer-generator any fee or charge that would increase the customer-generator's minimum monthly charge to an amount greater than that of other customers of the electric utility in the same rate class as the customer-generator.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  Consistent with the other provisions of this chapter, the net energy measurement must be calculated in the following manner:

    (1) The electric utility shall measure the net electricity produced or consumed during the billing period, in accordance with normal metering practices.

    (2) If the electricity supplied by the electric utility exceeds the electricity generated by the customer-generator and fed back to the electric utility during the billing period, the customer-generator shall be billed for the net electricity supplied by the electric utility, in accordance with normal metering practices.

    (3) If electricity generated by the customer-generator exceeds the electricity supplied by the electric utility, the customer-generator:

    (a) Shall be billed for the appropriate customer charges for that month, in accordance with section 3 of this act; and

    (b) Shall be credited for the excess kilowatt-hours generated during the month, with this kilowatt-hour credit appearing on the bill for the following month.

    At the beginning of each calendar year, any remaining unused kilowatt-hour credit accumulated during the previous year shall be sold to the electric utility, at the wholesale power rate.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.  (1) A net metering system used by a customer-generator shall meet all applicable safety and performance standards established by the national electrical code, the institute of electrical and electronics engineers, and underwriters laboratories.

    (2) The commission, after appropriate notice and opportunity for comment, may adopt by regulation additional control and testing requirements for customer-generators that the commission determines are necessary to protect public safety and system reliability.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.  Sections 1 through 5 of this act constitute a new chapter in Title 80 RCW.


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