Net Metering & Easy Connect Act
On January 1, 2008, a new law took effect in Missouri mandating that all electric utilities offer net metering and interconnection to consumers generating 100 kilowatts (kWs) or less of electricity from renewable resources.
Net metering enables the consumer (generator) to “export” power to the utility’s grid that is in excess of immediate on-site needs to offset an equal amount of power supplied by the utility at a different time in the billing period. When this situation occurs, the consumer is billed by the utility for the “net” amount of power used in excess of the power the consumer generates on-site.
During the billing period, if the consumer generates more power than the total amount of kWhs used (a combination of the amount generated on-site and the amount supplied by the utility), the utility provides the consumer a “credit” for the surplus power based on the avoided cost of the utility to generate the kWhs.
The new law applies to only generating systems which are powered by renewable resources. These resources may include wind, solar or any other source of energy certified as renewable by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Consumers with qualifying generating systems are required to complete an application. The application must be accompanied by a plan that includes a wiring diagram and specifications for the generating system, and must be approved by the utility. The consumer must also submit certification from a professional engineer or licensed electrician indicating that the installation meets the interconnection requirements of the various safety codes, and other requirements.
The consumer is responsible for all costs and expenses to install, operate, maintain, repair, and periodically test the generating system. The cost of special metering equipment is also the responsibility of the consumer. For safety purposes, the generating system is required to have a lockable, visible disconnect, accessible to utility personnel. The system must also have controls that prevent it from supplying power to the utility’s grid when the generating system is not energized or operating normally. Many other requirements are contained in the application.
For more information or to request an application, please contact Kevin Hurd at (800) 392-3709, ext. 4831.
For more information on renewable energy, see the Missouri Department of Natural Resources website at www.dnr.mo.gov/energy.