2017 Montana Legislature
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SENATE BILL NO. 78
INTRODUCED BY K. REGIER
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT REVISING NET METERING LAWS; REQUIRING PUBLIC UTILITIES TO INSTALL A METER OR METERS; ESTABLISHING CRITERIA FOR NET METERING SYSTEMS; ESTABLISHING CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING THE VALUE OF ELECTRICITY PRODUCED AND DELIVERED BY CUSTOMER-GENERATORS AND PUBLIC UTILITIES; REQUIRING THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION TO ESTABLISH A NEW RATE CLASS; REQUIRING REPORTING WHEN PROPERTY WITH A NET METERING SYSTEM IS SOLD; GRANDFATHERING EXISTING CUSTOMER-GENERATOR RATES FOR NET-METERED CUSTOMERS; AMENDING SECTIONS 69-3-306, 69-8-602, 69-8-603, AND 69-8-604, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE AND AN APPLICABILITY DATE."
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 69-3-306, MCA, is amended to read:
"69-3-306. Classification of service. (1) The Except as provided in [section 5] and in accordance with 69-8-602, the commission may prescribe classifications of the service of all public utilities. Such classifications Classifications may take into account the quantity used, the time when used, and any other reasonable consideration. Each A public utility is required to shall conform its schedule of rates, tolls, and charges to such the classifications.
(2) The commission shall prescribe a declining block rate structure for electric service, when cost-justified."
Section 2. Section 69-8-602, MCA, is amended to read:
"69-8-602. Utility net metering requirements. (1) A public utility shall:
(1) allow net metering systems to be interconnected using a standard kilowatt-hour meter or meters capable of registering measuring the flow amount of electricity in two directions, unless the commission determines, after appropriate notice and opportunity for comment:
(a) that the use of additional metering equipment to monitor the flow of electricity in each direction is necessary and appropriate for the interconnection of net metering systems, after taking into account the benefits and costs of purchasing and installing additional metering equipment; and
(b) how the costs of net metering are to be allocated between the customer-generator and the utility; and
(2) charge the customer-generator a minimum monthly fee that is the same as other customers of the electric utility in the same rate class. produced by the customer-generator, the amount of electricity consumed by the customer-generator, the amount of electricity delivered to the public utility by the customer-generator, and the amount of electricity delivered to the customer-generator by the public utility.
(2) (a) On or before January JULY 1, 2018, the commission shall establish a separate rate class for customer-generators.
(b) Electricity produced by the customer-generator and delivered to the public utility must be valued at the wholesale rate as established by the mid-Columbia electricity price index average over a 3-month period. AVOIDED COST.
(3)(C) A customer-generator shall also pay a monthly service charge RATE determined by the commission that is sufficient to cover the customer-generator's share of a public utility's fixed costs of operation.
(4)(3) The commission shall determine, after appropriate notice and opportunity for comment if:
(a) the public utility will incur any additional direct costs associated with interconnecting or administering net metering systems that exceed any offsetting benefits associated with these net metering systems; and
(b) public policy is best served by imposing these costs on the customer-generator, rather than allocating these costs among the public utility's entire customer base.
(5) For the purposes of this section, "mid-Columbia electricity price index" means volume-weighted averages of specifically defined bilateral, wholesale, or physical transactions. Calculations average together power transactions from Columbia, Midway, Rocky Reach, Wells, and Wanapum/Vantage delivery points along the Columbia River."
Section 3. Section 69-8-603, MCA, is amended to read:
"69-8-603. Net energy measurement calculation. Consistent with the other provisions of this part, the net energy measurement must be calculated in the following manner:
(1) The public utility shall measure the net electricity produced, or consumed, and delivered during the billing period, in accordance with normal metering practices 69-8-602.
(2) If the electricity supplied delivered by the electricity supplier public utility exceeds the electricity generated produced by the customer-generator and fed back delivered to the electricity supplier public utility during the billing period, the customer-generator must be billed for the net electricity supplied delivered by the electricity supplier public utility and billed for the appropriate monthly service charge AT THE APPROPRIATE RATE, in accordance with normal metering practices 69-8-602.
(3) If electricity generated delivered by the customer-generator exceeds the electricity supplied delivered by the electricity supplier public utility, the customer-generator must be:
(a) billed for AT the appropriate customer charges monthly service charge RATE for that billing period, in accordance with 69-8-602; and
(b) credited for the excess kilowatt hours generated during the billing period, with this kilowatt-hour value of the electricity delivered to the public utility in accordance with 69-8-602, with the credit appearing on the bill for the following billing period.
(4) On January 1, April 1, July 1, or October 1 of each year, as designated by the customer-generator as the beginning date of a 12-month billing period, any remaining unused kilowatt-hour credit accumulated during the previous 12 months must be granted to the electricity supplier public utility, without any compensation to the customer-generator.
(5) When a customer-generator sells property where a net metering system is located, the customer-generator shall submit a record of sale to the public utility and to the commission."
Section 4. Section 69-8-604, MCA, is amended to read:
"69-8-604. Net metering system -- reliability and safety. (1) A net metering system used by a customer-generator must include, at the customer-generator's own expense, all equipment necessary to meet applicable safety, power quality, and interconnection requirements established by the national electrical code, national electrical safety code, institute of electrical and electronic engineers, and underwriters laboratories.
(2) The commission, after appropriate notice and opportunity for comment, may adopt by rule additional safety, power quality, and interconnection requirements for customer-generators net metering systems that the commission or the local governing body determines are necessary to protect public safety and net metering system reliability."
NEW SECTION. Section 5. Classification of service -- when rates apply. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), when the commission approves a new classification of service for customer-generators in accordance with 69-3-306 or this part, the new rate applies only to customer-generators interconnecting net metering systems on or after the date on which the commission adopts a final order implementing the new classification.
(2) (a) A customer-generator that interconnects a net metering system prior to commission approval of a new classification of service for customer-generators may accept service under the new classification of service at any time.
(b) After accepting service under a new classification of service, the customer-generator may not return to its original classification of service.
(c) If the property where the net metering system is located is sold on or after the date that the commission approves a new classification of service, then the new rate applies to the customer-generator following the sale of the property.
NEW SECTION. Section 6. Codification instruction. [Section 5] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 69, chapter 8, part 6, and the provisions of Title 69, chapter 8, part 6, apply to [section 5].
NEW SECTION. Section 7. Saving clause. [This act] does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, or proceedings that were begun before [the effective date of this act].
NEW SECTION. Section 8. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.
NEW SECTION. Section 9. Applicability. [This act] applies to net metering equipment or facilities installed or modified on or after [the effective date of this act].
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