Skip to main content

RENEWABLE ENERGY & NET METERING

Net Metering Annual Renewable Generation Report

In 2009, through the efforts of the Nebraska Rural Electric Association, Nebraska statute § 70-2005 (LB 436) was enacted. In order to educate members of the cooperative, and customers of the power districts and municipal power systems the utilities provide the Nebraska Power Review Board with their annual net metering information for the PRB consolidated annual net metering report. The law also requires the information submitted annually to the PRB be posted on the utilities web site. Niobrara Valley EMC provided the information below for generation in the year 2022.


Frequently Asked Questions About Net Metering

Will the utility net meter any system that is 25 kW or smaller?

The statute (§70-2001-§70-2004) sets 25 kW as a threshold. The statute also specifies that a qualified generation system is one that is intended “meet or offset the customer-generator’s requirements for electricity.” Net metering is not intended for systems that will continuously generate more than a customer uses. This is why it is important for a customer to size their generation appropriately. It may mean that some systems 25 kW and smaller will not meet the definition for net metering.

If I have a generation system larger than 25 kW will my utility net meter?

The statute does not require net metering for larger systems, but utilities may allow for net metering of larger systems at their discretion.

I want to set up my generation at my farm so I can offset my bill in town, is this allowed?

No. Net metering is not intended to offset or provide credits for electricity at another location. Qualified generation can only offset energy use at the location of the meter where it is installed.

I am a renter, am I able to net meter where I live?

Yes. As long as the “premises are owned, leased, or otherwise controlled” by you, the customer-generator. Ultimately it will depend on your contract with the property owner.

Why don’t I receive the same price for electricity that I generate as I pay for the electricity I receive from my utility?

The answer here is two-part. First, until you have offset all of your energy use in a billing cycle you are receiving the same value as you pay. The energy is exchanged at a kilowatt for kilowatt rate and you get to use the distribution system for free to deliver your excess energy. Second, once you have offset your energy use, the utility will pay you “avoided cost.” Avoided cost is essentially what the utility avoided paying their wholesale energy supplier for electricity. If a utility were to pay you retail rates for the excess energy, they would be further subsidizing you and paying you to use the distribution system. This would mean all the other customers must cover those costs for you.

Will I be able to “make money” net metering?

Net metering is intended to provide a way for customers to offset their energy use with a renewable resource and is not intended as a means to generate revenues for the customer-generator.

Why is your price (avoided cost) different than other utilities?

Each utility is a separate entity with different operating costs and possibly different wholesale energy suppliers that impact the avoided cost rate.

Why aren’t the forms and agreements the same for all utilities?

Each utility is a separate entity and may have different needs for engineering the interconnection of your qualified generation. While forms may be different, the core information is generally the same and will be used to determine the best way to interconnect your qualified generation.

I have offset my entire energy demand for the month and have been credited for the excess energy I generated, why do I still have to pay a “customer charge?”

A “customer charge” is a charge that all customers in a specific rate class pay. This charge is intended to collect the fixed costs such as billing, meter reading, poles, wires, transformers and other necessary equipment. These costs will be in place regardless if a customer uses energy or not. The credits you have as a customer-generator are applied to the energy portion of your electric bill. They do not offset the fixed costs or “customer charges.”

Why does my utility require me to have liability insurance in place? Isn’t that prohibited by law?

The statutes specifically prohibit a utility from requiring “additional” liability insurance to discriminate against a net metering customer-generator. It was the intent of the law to allow for liability insurance requirements if they are required for all other forms of distributed generation interconnection. Some lenders and insurance companies for electric utilities require the utility to require insurance for all generation interconnected to the distribution system. For example, the Rural Utility Service requires their borrowers to require customer-generators to carry sufficient liability insurance. This requirement protects the customer-generator from the liability for any damage caused by the generation resource and from the potential injury/death to utility personnel or the public caused by the generation resource.

Do I need a state electrical inspection?

Yes. The statutes require an inspection from the Nebraska State Electrical Division and written proof of inspection will be required before a generation resource is interconnected.

Could there be additional costs to install my system?

If upgrades to the distribution system are need to allow your generation to interconnect you would be responsible for the cost of those upgrades. If the interconnection of your generation negatively impacts the delivery of reliable energy to other customers on the distribution system you would be responsible for modifications to the system to prevent the negative impact. The utility would be responsible for the metering system used to allow for net metering.

What happens if I transfer/sell my property and interconnected generation?

It is the responsibility of the customer (seller) to notify the utility that the interconnected generation has been transferred. The customer must also inform the buyer that they will need to sign an interconnection agreement with the utility. A new interconnection agreement will need to be signed before service will be transferred, unless the generation is disconnected from the distribution system.

Questions to ask your vendor

Are you insured or bonded?
How many systems have you installed?
Can you provide me with references?
Do you use a licensed electrician to interconnect my generation?


Member Information on Net Metering

TO QUALIFY AS A NET METERING INSTALLATION THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS AND UNDERSTANDING MUST BE MET BY THE GENERATOR

The net metered renewable generator must use methane, geothermal, solar, wind, biomass or hydropower resources as its fuel source. (Nebraska Revised Statue 70-2002 (7) (a)) The total installed renewable generation at a single site must have a total installed aggregate nameplate generating capacity, from single or multiple generators, of twenty-five kilowatts (25KW) or less. (Nebraska Revised Statue 70-2002 (7) (f))

The renewable generator must operate in parallel with the Niobrara Valley EMC’s electric distribution system. (Nebraska Revised Statue 70-2002 (7) (c))

The renewable generator must be equipped to automatically isolate from the cooperatives electrical system in the event that the cooperatives lines are de-energized for any reason. (Nebraska Revised Statue 70-2002 (7) (h))

The member must sign an interconnection agreement with the cooperative prior to connecting their generator to the cooperative lines. (Nebraska Revised Statue 70-2002 (2)) and is responsible for notifying the cooperative of their intent to install a qualified facility at least sixty days prior to its installation and is responsible for all costs associated with the qualified facility. (Nebraska Revised Statue 70-2004 (2))

The member must request an inspection from the State Electrical Division pursuant to subsection (1) of section 81-2124 or subsection (1) of section 81-2125 and shall provide documentation of the completed inspection to the cooperative prior to interconnection with the our distribution system. (Nebraska Revised Statue 70-2004 (1))

The energy generated by the member is intended primarily to offset part, or all, of the member’s requirements for electric energy at the location of the generator and not at another location. (Nebraska Revised Statue 70-2002 (7) (e))

The renewable generator is located on premises that are owned, operated, leased or otherwise controlled by the member customer. (Nebraska Revised Statue 70-2002 (7) (b))

The renewable generator must meet all safety and performance requirements of the Niobrara Valley EMC and applicable federal, state, and local regulations and interconnection standards. (Nebraska Revised Statue 70-2002 (7) (g)) The cooperative will is not required to interconnect with a facility that fails to meet or maintain the cooperative’s requirements for safety, reliability, and interconnection. (Nebraska Revised Statue 70-2004 (4))


Legal Requirements

The member, who owns the renewable generator, must agree that in the event the renewable generator installation causes or presents a risk to the cooperative, its employees, any of the cooperatives member customers or the general public, the cooperative can require the member to immediately disconnect the generation facility. The cooperative may disconnect the generation facility without advance notice if it is determined that the facility has caused or may cause any problem(s) or interference to the cooperatives facilities, equipment or distribution lines or to other cooperative customers or if the facility presents a danger to cooperative employees, customers or the general public.

The member who owns the renewable generator shall agree to indemnify and hold harmless the cooperative, it’s respective directors, officers, employees, agents, and representatives, from any and all losses, and any and all claims, liabilities, penalties, fines, costs, and expenses incurred or paid in connection with any threatened or completed demand, claim, suit, order, injunction, proceeding, or other action threatened or brought for any reason including (without limitation) for the loss of or damage to any property, or for any injury, disease, or death of any person, caused by in whole or in part arising from, or in any manner related to any act or omission of the member, or any person acting for or on his behalf, in connection with any activity performed or undertaken pursuant to a net metering interconnection agreement.


Metering

Typically a single meter will be used to measure the flow of energy to and from the member generation site. This meter and its associated equipment will be the “point of interconnection” to the cooperatives lines. The cooperative will provide and install the required meter at its expense. Energy use and energy generated will be calculated by the meter. Additional meters may be installed at the expense of the cooperative to be used to collect data for research purposes.


How Bills and Generation Credits are Calculated

A member receiving service under the net metering policy will be subject to the same retail rate schedule as those members who are not generators. Members subject to the net metering policy are responsible for all other charges associated with the retail rate schedule including, but not limited to, monthly minimum charges, customer charges, horsepower charges, meter charges, facilities charges, demand charges and surcharges. To be clear, the member will always be required to pay at least the minimum bill on a service because it pays for the cost associated with distribution lines used to serve the member, and the overhead costs associated with serving the members account.

In months when the member generates more electricity than is consumed, all the excess energy will be recognized as a monetary credit equal to the cooperatives avoided cost.

Any monetary credits due the customer shall be applied to subsequent monthly statements and shall offset the cost of energy owed by the retail customer.

At the end of each calendar year, any excess monetary credit balance will be paid coinciding with the final bill of each calendar year. There are no monetary credit carry-forwards from year to year.

The member owns the renewable energy credits of the electricity their facility generates.

Download these files and we can start the process for your net metered renewable generation system.

Interconnection Application

Interconnection Agreement


Questions to ask a prospective renewable generation system vendor

  • What is the total installed (turnkey) cost of the system?

  • How much money is due upfront, and what is the schedule of payments?

  • If my energy usage changes, will I be able to add more panels later?

  • Do I need a new roof now in order to install? Is my roof suitable to carry the additional live, dead and uplift load forces that the solar array will exert?

  • When was your company established and how much solar has it installed to date?

  • Can your company provide a list of the projects and references for them?

  • Is your company affiliated with other parties to deliver the installation and who are they?

  • Does your company have a Standard Insurance Certificate with adequate General Liability coverage of $1 million or more? (Ask for a copy and keep it with your records.)

  • Does your company have Professional Liability Insurance? (Ask for a copy and keep it with your records.)

  • Does your company carry Workers Compensation? (Ask for a copy and keep it with your records.)

  • Do you have the ability to cover me as an “Additional Insured”?

  • Are your solar installers North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Electric trained and certified?

  • Do you have a licensed engineer on staff to review and approve drawings for submission to city/county building code and fi re department officials?

  • Are you accredited with the Better Business Bureau? If so, what is your rating?

  • In which country are the solar panels and inverters you are selling made?

  • Will the company honor your manufacturer’s multiyear performance warranty?

  • Does the company have a Master Electrician on staff to obtain the required electrical permits and to supervise the electrical work for your project? (Ask for a copy and keep it with your records.)

  • Is your solar installer company a Licensed Electrical Contractor which is required to install Solar Electric Systems? May I see your company’s license?

  • Who will be working on my roof, and how much experience do they personally have installing solar?

  • How does your company handle projects during busy times? Do you work with sub-contractors?

  • How long will the installation take?

  • Will the age or type of my roof affect the cost of installation?

  • How will installation affect my roof? Will it create leaks? What if it does create leaks, are you then responsible for repairs?

  • If I’m planning on re-doing my roof, should I install panels before or after?

  • How much of my energy usage would my solar system cover?

  • How much would my monthly energy bills be after installation? From you and from my utility?

  • How long will my payback period be on my solar system? What are the key assumptions associated with my payback that may impact that result? (Ask for a copy of the calculations and keep the data with your records.)

  • How will solar affect my homeowner’s insurance?

  • Will you complete all of the paperwork associated with getting the permits and financing?

    Prepared by Niobrara Valley Electric Membership Corporation with the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives.



Contact Us

NVEMC can be reached by calling
(402) 336-2803 or (800) 967-1987.

Monday – Friday
8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. 

You can also reach us by email at niobraravalley@nvemc.org.


Downloads