Net Metering (Renewable Energy)

Information for those considering alternative/renewable energy

In 2015, the City of Manassas Utility Commission adopted a Net Metering Policy in order to support our customers who are considering generating their own electricity using renewable resources such as solar.  The information on this page is how the City of Manassas processes agreements with those using net metering or renewable energy solutions.

Definitions

Billing period - the time period between the two meter readings upon which the City calculates the customer’s bills.

Billing period credit- the quantity of electricity generated and fed back into the electric grid by the customer’s renewable fuel generator in excess of the electricity supplied to the customer over the billing period.  

Excess generation - the amount of electricity generated by the renewable fuel generator in excess of the electricity consumed by the customer over the course of the net metering period.  

Net metering customer - a customer owning and operating, or contracting with persons to own or operate, or both, a renewable fuel generator under a net metering service agreement.

Net metering period - each successive 12-month period beginning with the first meter reading date following the date of final interconnection of the renewable fuel generator with the City’s electrical distribution system.

Net metering service - providing retail electric service to a customer operating a renewable fuel generator and measuring the difference, over the net metering period between electricity supplied to the customer from the electric grid and the electricity generated and fed back to the electric grid by the customer.

Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) - represents the renewable energy attributes associated with the production of one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electrical energy generated by a renewable fuel generator.

Renewable fuel generator - an electrical generating facility that:

  1. Has an alternating current capacity of not more than 10 kilowatts for residential customers and not more than 500 kilowatts for nonresidential customers;
  2. Uses renewable energy, as defined by § 56-576 of the Code of Virginia, as its total fuel source;
  3. The net metering customer owns and operates, or has contracted with other persons to own or operate, or both;
  4. Is located on the customer’s premises and is connected to the customer’s wiring on the customer’s side of its interconnection with the City’s electrical distribution system;

  5.  Is interconnected pursuant to a net metering arrangement and operated in parallel with the City’s electrical distribution facilities; and

  6.  Is intended primarily to offset all or part of the net metering customer’s own electricity requirements.

Conditions of Interconnection

A prospective net metering may begin operation of his renewable fuel generator on an interconnected basis when:
  • The net metering customer has properly notified the City of his/her intent to interconnect and has completed a customer agreement for parallel connection of the renewable fuel generator;
  • The net metering customer has installed a lockable, City accessible, load breaking manual disconnect switch;
  • A licensed electrician has certified, by signing the City’s notification form, that the required manual disconnect switch has been properly installed and that the renewable fuel generator has been installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications as well as all applicable provisions of the National Electrical Code;
  • The vendor has certified, by signing the City’s notification form, that the renewable fuel generator being installed is in compliance with the requirements established by Underwriters Laboratories or other national testing laboratories in accordance with IEEE Standard 1547, Standard for Interconnecting Distributed Resources with Electrical Power Systems, July 2003;
  • In the case of static inverter-connected renewable fuel generators with an alternating current capacity in excess of 10 kilowatts, the net metering customer has had the inverter settings inspected by the City. The City may impose a fee of no more than $50 for such inspection;
  • In the case on non-static inverter-connected renewable fuel generators, the net metering customer has interconnected according to the City’s interconnection guidelines and the City has inspected all protective equipment settings.  The City may impose a fee to the net metering customer of no more than $50 for such inspection;
  • In the case of renewable fuel generators with an alternating current capacity of greater than 25 kilowatts, the following requirements shall be met before interconnection may occur:
    • Electric distribution and customer impact limitations.  A renewable fuel generator shall not be permitted to interconnect to distribution facilities if the interconnection would reasonably lead to damage to any of the City’s facilities or would reasonably lead to voltage regulation or power quality problems at other customer meters due to the incremental effect of the generator on the performance of the electrical distribution system, unless the customer reimburses the City for its cost to modify the facilities needed to accommodate the interconnection;
    • Secondary, service, and service limitations.  The capacity of the renewable fuel generator shall be less than the capacity of the City-owned secondary, service, and service entrance cable connected to the point of interconnection, unless the customer reimburses the City for its cost to modify any facilities needed to accommodate the interconnection;
    • Transformer loading limitations.  The renewable fuel generator shall not have the ability to overload the City ‘s transformer, or any transformer winding, beyond manufacturer or nameplate ratings, unless the customer reimburses the City for its cost to modify any facilities needed to accommodate the interconnection;
    • Integration with City facilities grounding.  The grounding scheme of the renewable fuel generator shall comply with IEEE 1547, Standard for Interconnecting Distributed Resources with Electric Power Systems, July 2003, and shall be consistent with the grounding scheme used by the City.  If requested by a prospective net metering customer, the City will assist the prospective net metering customer in selecting a grounding scheme that coordinates with its distribution system; and
    • Balance limitation.  The renewable fuel generator shall not create a voltage imbalance of more than 3.0% at any other customer’s meter if the City transformer, with the secondary connected to the point of interconnection, is a three-phase transformer, unless the customer reimburses the City for its cost to modify any facilities needed to accommodate the interconnection.
A prospective net metering customer shall not be allowed to interconnect a renewable fuel generator if doing so will cause the total rated generating alternating capacity of all interconnected renewable fuel generators within the City’s service territory to exceed 1.0% of the City’s peak-load for the previous year.  In any case where a prospective net metering customer has submitted a notification form and that customer’s interconnection would cause the total rated generating alternating current capacity of all interconnected renewable fuel generators with the City’s service territory to exceed 1.0% of the City’s peak-load for the previous year, the City, at the time it becomes aware of the fact, will send written notification to such prospective net metering customer that the interconnection is not allowed.  In addition, upon request from any customer, the City shall provide to the customer the amount of capacity still available for interconnection.

The net energy metering customer shall immediately notify the City of any changes in the ownership of, operational responsibility for, or contact information for the generator.

Metering, Billing, and Payment 

Net metered energy shall be measured in accordance with standard metering practices by metering equipment capable of measuring (but not necessarily displaying) power flow in both directions.  

In instances where a net metering customer has requested, and where the City would not have otherwise installed, metering equipment that is intended to be read off site, the City may charge the net metering customer its actual cost of installing any additional equipment necessary to implement net metering service.

A net metering customer shall receive no compensation for excess generation from the City.  In any billing period in which there is a billing credit, the customer shall be required to pay only the non-usage sensitive charges for that billing period which includes the customer charge.  Any billing period credits shall be accumulated, carried forward, and applied at the first opportunity to any billing periods having positive net consumption.  However, any accumulated billing credits remaining unused at the end of a net metering period shall be carried forward only to the extent that such accumulated billing period credits do not exceed the net metering customer’s billed consumption for the current net metering period, adjusted to exclude accumulated billing credits carried forward and applied from the previous net metering period.

A net metering customer owns any renewable energy certificates associated with the total output its renewable fuel generator. 


Additional Controls and Tests

Except as provided in Conditions of Interconnection A 5 and 6 and in Metering, Billing, and Payment as related to additional metering, no net metering customer shall be required to pay for additional metering, testing, or controls in order to interconnect with the City’s distribution system.  However, this shall not preclude a net metering customer or the City from installing additional controls or meters, or from conducting additional tests.  The expenses associated with these additional meters, tests, or equipment shall be borne by the party desiring the additional meters, tests, or equipment.

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