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The Hawaii PUC Net Metering Ruling and How It Affects You

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Hawaii’s new solar deal is here and in summary form here – and the good news is Maui County still has one of the best home solar programs in the US!.

You are not affected by the ruling if:

  • You already own an installed net metered system.
  • You already have net energy metering (NEM) conditional pre-approval (CPA) but haven’t installed your system yet.
  • Your NEM application was submitted to the utility postmarked 10/12/15 or earlier.

In cases 2 and 3 you will be grandfathered into the old deal and benefit from full retail export credit. You must now make sure you purchase and install your system before your NEM CPA expires. You can find your CPA expiration date on your original CPA letter from the utility.

If you are unsure if your NEM CPA application was received in time to be grandfathered, and when it expires, please contact your respective utility on:

Maui: 808-871-8461 ext. 2445
Molokai, Lanai: 1-877-871-8461

Big Island: 808-969-0358
Oahu: 808-543-4760

HAWAII’S NEW SOLAR DEAL

The Public Utilities Commission issued Decision & Order 33258 on Monday 10/12/2015 ending the net energy meeting (NEM) program for new Hawaii solar customers.

If your NEM PA application was not submitted with a postmark dated 10/12/15 or earlier you now have 2 immediate options for home solar. The new rules should make it easier and quicker for new customers to get approved for interconnection. All new home solar customers will face a minimum utility bill of $25. Commercial customers will face a minimum bill of $50.

SELF-SUPPLY:

This option is for customers that expect to consume all of the energy produced by their solar system onsite at their home or business, and do not need to export excess energy to the grid. These systems will typically be designed to use energy management and energy storage systems to balance onsite generation with usage. With these advanced features, self-supply systems will have less impact on the grid and will receive fast-track interconnection review. At this time, there is no cap on the number of Self-Supply systems that may be installed.

GRID-SUPPLY:

The grid-supply option will allow customers to export excess energy to the grid as needed, and customers will receive energy credits on their monthly bills, similar to the old NEM program. The Grid-Supply option reduces the credit rate for energy exported to the grid for participating customers. The lower credit rate for energy exported to the grid reflects the Public Utility Commission’s commitment to achieve an affordable, cost- effective energy supply for all customers. There is a cap of 5MW (equivalent of about 1,000 single family homes) on the total capacity of Grid-Supply systems in Maui County and the same in Hawaii County. City and County of Honolulu has a new grid supply cap of 25MW.

Maui and Hawaii County grid supply export credits (c/kWh)

  • Maui – 17c
  • Molokai – 24c
  • Lanai – 28c
  • Big Island – 15c

It is our understanding that MECO will be able to provide application forms for the new interconnection options within 10 days of the ruling (10/22/2015).

There is a third option, currently in development, that residential customers will be able to opt-into when it becomes available:

TIME-OF-USE (TOU)

“Time-of-Use” tariff – The Commission has also directed the HECO Companies to develop a new, expanded time-of-use tariff that allows all customers to save money by shifting energy usage to the middle of the day to take advantage of lower-cost solar energy. Solar customers would be encouraged to consume grid power at a low cost and store solar power in a battery, to be fed into the grid at a higher rate during periods of highest demand (5pm-9pm). Initially, this tariff will be available for any residential customers that opt-in to the program. This new tariff will encourage PV system owners in invest in home energy storage (batteries) to benefit from the new TOU rate structure.

NEW EXPANSION APPLICATIONS

New applications to expand existing NEM systems received after 10/12/2015 will probably not be grandfathered. If you apply for pre-approval to expand your system beyond the size originally approved, the expansion of an existing NEM system may void your previous NEM agreement and you will automatically be required to transfer both the original system and the expansion to either the grid-supply or self-supply option. Please contact Rising Sun immediately if you are hoping to expand your existing NEM system and we will explain your options to you.

CHANGE OF SYSTEM OWNERSHIP/UTILITY ACCOUNT HOLDER

The PUC ruling states that grandfathered NEM customers are allowed to remainunder the existing NEM tariff through an ownership transfer, tenant change or account name change events. That means if you sell your NEM solar home or change tenants in a NEM solar rental property, the new owner, tenant or utility bill account holder will benefit from the old NEM program.

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Cadmus Properties has proudly served Hawaii for over 30 years. Our management expertise can help any Association navigate troubled waters. For more information on our Association Management Services please contact our office at (808) 531-6847 or via email at info@cadmusproperties.com

Posted by: Cj Paet on March 20, 2016
Posted in: Uncategorized