1/30/2017 6:42:14 PM -
Change is brewing in Maryland to expand opportunities for consumers to benefit from renewable energy projects. Maryland has implemented a Net Meter Aggregation program known as Aggregate Net Energy Metering (ANEM), also referred to as Virtual Net Metering (VNM) in some other states. Some meter aggregation programs allow a single customer with multiple meters, and therefore multiple utility accounts, to offset their aggregate load with a single renewable energy system. ANEM enables multiple customers, with multiple meters and associated utility accounts, to receive the benefits of a single renewable energy system. Customers have ‘shares’ or interests in a single renewable energy system, and the net metering credits are distributed across those multiple customers’ bills.
Suppliers and Service providers need to prepare for ANEM implementation in Maryland.
New billing data requirements and formats are required to enable the tracking and distribution of net metering credits to the participating customers. The requirements are established by the Public Service Commission, and the implementation details and standards are discussed and designed by the MD EDI Workgroup. Special meter read formats have been adjusted and are in the process of being approved and incorporated into the MD EDI Implementation Guidelines. The data formats account for some utility specific requirements and are further influenced by the capabilities of the installed meter at the customer location. Some meters record both consumption and generation and make both available for billing, while others record only the net difference of the consumption and generation. Also, due to billing system constraints, one Maryland Utility can currently send only net usage regardless of the meter equipment in place. Supplier EDI and billing systems need to handle the resulting meter reads accordingly.
There are also Utility specific requirements around the formatting of meter reads and the order of the distribution of credits to customer accounts that have Time of Use (TOU) rates. These details are still being determined by the EDI Workgroup and will be added to the MD EDI Implementation Guidelines as soon as they’re approved by the group. Things get particularly interesting (and complicated) when generation exceeds consumption and the excess generation is ‘banked’ for use in future billing periods. It is essential that Suppliers and Service providers understand the nuances of these programs.
In summary Net Metering projects offer great opportunities for market participants, and at MarketWISE we anticipate seeing significant progress and new product offerings across many markets. However, a thorough knowledge of program requirements and operational preparation is required to deliver the full value to their customers, while maintaining regulatory compliance.
Tom Dougherty - MarketWISE
This article is based on information from MD PSC documentation as well as personal experience as an active member of the MD EDI workgroup.
Report on the Status of Net Energy Metering In the State of Maryland: http://www.psc.state.md.us/wp-content/uploads/2014-MD-PSC-Report-on-the-Status-of-Net-Energy-Metering1.pdf
A Guidebook on Net Metering in Maryland: http://universityparksolar.com/Meter/MD%20NM%20Guide%20DRAFT%206-7-2013.pdf