State Net Metering Policy

Louisiana enacted legislation in June 2003 establishing net metering. Modeled on Arkansas’s law, Louisiana's law requires investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities and electric cooperatives to offer net metering to customers that generate electricity using solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal or biomass resources. Fuel cells and microturbines that generate electricity entirely derived from renewable resources are also eligible. It is also required that net metering facilities apply for and be entitled to state or federal funding for a portion of projects costs.

Per state law, net metering is available for residential systems up to 25 kilowatts (kW) in capacity, and commercial and agricultural systems up to 300 kW. In 2008 (Act 543), the state legislature increased the net metering limit from 100 kW to 300 kW for commercial and agricultural use. The Louisiana Public Service Commission (PSC) opened Docket R-31417 in July 2010 in order to review its rules to increase to the state-mandated 300 kW limit. The PSC approved the increase in May 2011. In July of 2011, the PSC adopted Net Metering Standards, after which the PSC will determine on a case-by-case basis the appropriate pricing of projects exceeding 300kW.

The Louisiana PSC also established rates, terms and conditions for net metering for utilities under its jurisdiction in November 2005.* The PSC’s rules are described below. Utilities must provide customer-generators with a meter capable of measuring the flow of electricity in both directions. Utilities must pay for the cost of the meter itself, but customer-generators must pay a one-time charge to cover the installation cost of the meter. Customers are responsible for all interconnection costs. Net excess generation (NEG) is credited to the customer's next bill indefinitely. For the final month in which the customer takes service from the utility, the utility will pay the customer for the balance of any credit at the utility's avoided-cost rate. By the end of each calendar year, utilities must file with the PSC a report listing all existing net-metered systems and their capacities, and, where applicable, the inverter rating for each facility. The ownership of renewable-energy credits (RECs) associated with net metering has not been addressed.

The PSC will revisit these rules once any utility's net metering purchases exceed .5% of its retail peak load. * The PSC regulates investor-owned utilities and electric cooperatives in Louisiana; it does not regulate municipal-owned utilities, and its rules thereby do not apply to municipal utilities. Municipal utilities must develop their own programs based on the statute.

Contact:
Public Information Louisiana Public Service Commission Galvez Building, 12th Floor 602 North Fifth Street Post Office Box 91154 Baton Rouge, LA 70821-9154 Phone: (225) 342-4404 Fax: (225) 342-2831 Web Site: http://www.lpsc.org/