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Re: E-M:/ Net metering in Michigan ...

Enviro-Mich message from "David Wright" <wrightd@voyager.net>


     It is GREAT! that Michigan is on the way to having a net metering
rule in place.  With the devil being in the details, it is important
that individuals who want to see a successful progressive net metering
program provide comments as their utility submits their plans to
implement net metering to the MPSC by April 28th.  

     As noted in John's post the Michigan Public Service Commission, to
their credit, made some pretty significant changes to the consensus
proposal.  Credits for renewable energy generation will be calculated at
retail rates instead of at what basically would have been a value 1/2 to
1/3 of retail.  And, the utilities will not automatically "own" any
renewable generation credits, which the original proposal gave to the

     With respect to program costs, the utilities will need to make some
changes to their administration as usually they come to arrest you when
your meter has spun backwards -- they would tend to assume that you are
using their electrons and not paying for them.  In addition, the utility
will want to ensure that your installation will not create a problem for
their employees or their distribution system due to your generator being

     With the way the rule has been written you will pay an upfront fee
to cover administrative costs for interconnecting your generating system
with the utility.  Annual fees are not very good for the economics of
net metering.  It costs approximately $10 in capital to install one watt
of photovoltaic panels.  I use very little electricity, maybe a little
over $25 per month and to install a PV system to provide for my annual
generation today would cost me about $24,000.  So, if I had a 0 utility
bill, after this investment my annual savings would be at best $300/yr
(If you need to calculate payback you're not going to do this, so don't
calculate it).  If you now add an annual fee, the economics just get

    For now lets see how this rule works and if we can start getting
some more grid-intertied systems up and running in Michigan.  But,
before that happens, let's make sure we read the utilities plans and
make any necessary comments to keep the programs simple and effective.

> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from Lowell Prag <lprag@mail.msen.com>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Fri, 1 Apr 2005, Sarver, John H  (DLEG) wrote:
> ... see below ...
> Hello John,
> First, hurrah in finally getting net metering in Michigan!
> It will give a great boost to the installation of more alternative energy
> systems and with the increased demand, bring down the cost of such
> A couple of questions though, on your net metering post below.
> Regarding the clause that allows utilities to delete any credits more than
> a year old, as a way for them to recover costs for the net metering
> That seems like a rip off.
> Why was not just a flat one time fee applied to owner of the alternative
> energy equipment instead, to cover the cost or a yearly fee, based on the
> utility companies real cost in providing net metering?
> Otherwise:
> if a system is oversized to cover contingencies in the design load, one
> will not recover that cost and the utilities get that surplus for free,
> without proving what their actual costs are to provide net metering and
> allowing the customer to keep the difference.
> In short:
> I can see no real cost to the utilities for providing net metering, other
> than in the initial stage of getting the program going. After that, what
> costs do they have?
> Regards,
> Lowell Prag
> On Fri, 1 Apr 2005, Sarver, John H  (DLEG) wrote:
> ENERGY TIDBITS - April 2005
> 2005 Energy Star Home Grants were awarded by DLEG Director David C.
> Hollister at Urban Options on March 22.  The recipients are: Olde World
> Custom Homes (Traverse City), Steinorth Fine Homes (Traverse City), C.L.
> Gruner (Ada), T. Joseph & Sons Construction (Linden), and Raymar Homes
> (Hudsonville). Builders compete for the grants based on
> energy-efficiency, marketing plans and innovations.  Some of the
> innovative features of the five houses include radiant floor heating,
> soy-based wall insulation, water retention basins for capturing rain
> water run-off, and passive solar designs.   The deadline for the 2006
> grants will be mid December. If interested, check
> www.michigan.gov/energyoffice in the fall.
> Opportunities to Save with Renewable Energy: Focus on Wind Power will be
> held on April 21 in Warren.  Learn the details on renewable energy and
> wind power at the second annual conference for the benefit of
> administrators, business officers, and building management officials in
> the educational, municipal and agricultural communities. Conference
> registration is required.  Call (586) 498-8840 or (734) 285-7273.
> New Residential Energy Code was going to be effective February 28.  On
> February 24 the Ingham County Circuit Court issued an injunction on the
> implementation date of the revised Michigan Uniform Energy Code. As a
> result of the judge's order, the code did not go into effect and is not
> being enforced.
> USDA Section 9006 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency grant
> applications will be due June 28.  $11.4 million will be initially
> available for grants. USDA is setting aside the other $11.4 million for
> guaranteed loans. These funds will be administered under a final rule to
> be published in the Federal Register later this fiscal year. Any funds
> for loan guarantees not used by August 31, 2005 will be awarded to grant
> applicants. The basic grant program and application processes are
> largely unchanged from last year. The minimum grant size is $2,500 and
> the maximum is $250,000 for energy efficiency improvements and $500,000
> for renewable energy systems. Grants can provide up to 25% of total
> project costs. www.elpc.org/farmenergy/index.htm
> Voluntary Net Metering program has been approved by the MPSC for a
> minimum of five years.  Utilities that signed the agreement have until
> April 28 to file their proposed tariffs. The program covers solar, wind,
> geothermal, biomass, including waste-to-energy and landfill gas or
> hydroelectric. The MPSC approved an amended version of the consensus
> agreement reached with utilities.  Based on comments filed, the
> Commission rejected a provision in the agreement that would have
> required that all renewable energy certificates associated with the
> customer's generation be owned by the utility. Under the agreement,
> net-metered customers will be credited for net excess generation (NEG)
> at the utility's retail price of generation.  Any credits will be
> carried over from month to month, limited to a 12 billing-month cycle.
> At the end of each 12 billing-month cycle, cumulative NEG credits, if
> any, may be retained by the utility and the customer's credit reset to
> zero.  The value of any generation credits retained by the utility will
> be used to offset net metering programming costs.  The following
> utilities signed the consensus agreement:  Alpena Power, Indiana
> Michigan Power, Edison Sault Electric, Upper Peninsula Power, Wisconsin
> Public Service Corp., Wisconsin Electric Power, Northern States Power,
> Consumers Energy, Detroit Edison, Michigan Electric Cooperative Assoc.,
> and Michigan Electric and Gas Assoc.
> Consumers Energy is seeking competitive bids for the development of
> renewable energy projects that will supply 265,000 megawatt-hours of
> renewable energy.  The Renewable Resource Program is a replacement and
> significant expansion of a smaller Green Power Pilot Program which
> Consumers Energy offered from 2001-2004.   Under a separate MPSC order,
> Consumers Energy created a $5 million annual fund for the company's
> Renewable Resource Program that will be used to offset the costs of
> Consumers Energy's purchases. Consumers Energy's 1.75 million electric
> customers will have the option of choosing to purchase a larger part of
> their electric supply from green power sources, following commercial
> operation of the independent projects.  That is expected by the end of
> 2005. The utility's Request For Proposal offers independent green power
> developers long-term power supply contracts of up to 20 years.  A copy
> of The Request For Proposal is at www.consumersenergy.com/greenenergy.
> Pet Power Potential is being researched at a Michigan university.  Cat
> and dog manure will produce methane that will be used to generate power.
> Homeowners in the local community are being asked to collect the
> resource and drop it off at the pet power recycling center.  Results
> from the project will be announced April 1, 2006.
> World's Largest Wind Turbine, the REpower 5M, was recently inaugurated
> in Germany. The 5 MW unit has a rotor diameter of 126 m. Two turbines
> are proposed for a demonstration project off the coast of Scotland.
> Introductory Renewable Energy Seminars will be held on Saturday, April
> 16, 9 am - 5 pm at the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association in
> Dimondale. Contact:  Brendan Schauffler, (800)434-9788, info@glrea.org
> Website:  www.glrea.org <http://www.glrea.org/>
> Energy Management Pathfinding, a new report from the Alliance to Save
> Energy, offers case studies of the energy management strategies
> developed by 10 major U.S. corporations including Frito-Lay,
> Kimberly-Clark, and 3M.  The case studies, an analysis of their
> findings, and a corporate self-test for energy management are available
> online at
> http://www.ase.org/section/topic/industry/corporate/pathfinding
> <http://www.magnetmail.net/ls.cfm?r=6946428&sid=428390&m=81101&u=ASE2&s=
> http://www.ase.org/section/topic/industry/corporate/pathfinding> .
> Energy and the Economy Summit will be held on April 20 at Lawrence
> Technological University in Southfield.  Contact:
> http://www.ltu.edu/energysummit/
> Flex Your Power is California's statewide energy efficiency marketing
> and outreach campaign.  Check out their web site at  www.fypower.org
> <http://www.fypower.org/>   (Bill Decker Sr)
> 2005 Southeast Michigan Biodiesel Bus Tour will introduce you to key
> biodiesel facilities and players on April 11.  Leaving from Lansing at
> 7:30 am and returning at 5:30 pm.  Contact 734-994-4780 or
> sreed2@ci.ann-arbor.mi.us.
> Voters in Columbia, MO adopted a local renewables portfolio standard
> (RPS) last November. The City of Columbia will generate or purchase
> electricity generated from renewable energy sources at the following
> levels:  2% by 2007, 5% by 2012, 10% by 2017, and 15% by 2022. Eligible
> energy sources include solar, wind and bio-energy. The RPS was passed
> with 78% of the vote. www.columbiansforcleanenergy.com
> <http://www.columbiansforcleanenergy.com/>
> New Ballasts made after April 1, 2005 will use more efficient electronic
> technologies, although existing magnetic ballasts may be repaired
> through 2010. That revision, according to the Appliance Standards
> Awareness Project, will save 13.7 billion kWh's by 2020 and by 2030 net
> benefits will reach $2.6 billion.
> April Fools if you believed Pet Power Potential.
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