SB 178
Modifies provisions relating to net metering
Sponsor:
LR Number:
1135S.01I
Last Action:
3/3/2021 - Hearing Scheduled S Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee
Journal Page:
Title:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2021

Current Bill Summary

SB 178 - This act modifies provisions of the Net Metering and Easy Connection Act.

The act modifies the definitions of "customer-generator", "department", which is changed from the Department of Economic Development to the Department of Natural Resources, and "retail electric supplier", which term now includes municipally owned utilities.

Under the act, a retail electric supplier shall offer net metering to a customer-generator pursuant to a Public Service Commission-approved tariff of an electrical corporation or contract approved by the respective governing body of a rural electric cooperative or a municipally owned electric utility at rates as set forth in the act.

A customer-generator shall reimburse the retail electric supplier for the costs to purchase and install any necessary additional equipment including necessary electric distribution system upgrades.

Each qualified electric energy generation unit used by a customer-generator shall meet and be installed, maintained, and repaired consistent with applicable safety and performance standards. All qualified electric energy generation units utilizing battery backup shall be installed to operate completely isolated from the retail electric supplier's system including all neutral connections and grounding points, during times of backup operation.

A retailer electric supplier may require that a customer-generator's system contain adequate surge protection.

In the event that the professional electrician or engineer that installed a qualified electric generation unit to the distribution system is not licensed, the retail electric supplier may require a bond or other form of surety to insure the safe installation and operation of the qualified electric energy generation unit.

The sale of qualified electric energy units to any customer-generator shall be subject to provisions of law related to consumer protection. Any interested person who believes that the seller of any qualified electric energy generation unit is misrepresenting the cost savings or investment payback period may report such issue to the Attorney General.

All cost savings or investment payback period calculations made by sellers of qualified electric generation units shall be based upon the then-existing electric service rates and avoided cost of the potential or existing customer-generator's retail electric supplier, and if projections for future rate increases are included in the calculation, such projections shall be based on that retail electric supplier's then-existing rates and the actual percentage increase in rates averaged over the previous ten-year period. Misrepresentation of a retail electric supplier's current or projected rates shall constitute an unlawful practice under provisions of law relating to merchandising practices and the violator shall be subject to all penalties, remedies, and procedures provided in those provisions of law, with such remedies being cumulative. Any person who suffers a loss or harm as a result of such unlawful practice may recover actual and punitive damages, reasonable attorney's fees, court costs, and any other remedies provided by law.

The seller, installer, or manufacturer of any qualified electric energy generation unit may recover actual and punitive damages, reasonable attorney's fees, court costs, and seek any other remedies provided by law for reasons set forth in the act.

This act is identical to SB 1065 (2020) and substantially similar to HB 2608 (2020).

JAMIE ANDREWS

Amendments

No Amendments Found.