In Delaware, net metering is available to any customer that generates electricity using solar, wind or hydro resources, anaerobic digesters, or fuel cells capable of being powered by renewable fuels. Grid-interactive electric vehicles are also eligible for net metering treatment for electricity that they put on the grid, although these vehicles do not themselves generate electricity.
The maximum capacity of a net-metered system is 25 kilowatts (kW) for residential customers; 150 kW for farm customers on residential rates (increased by S.B. 111 of 2023); two megawatts (MW) per meter for non-residential customers of Delmarva Power and Light (DP&L); and 500 kW per meter for non-residential customers of Delaware Electric Co-Op, Inc.(DEC) and municipal utilities. The DEC and municipal utilities are "encouraged" by statute to offer net metering for non-residential customers with eligible systems up to 2 MW in capacity. Systems must be intended primarily to offset all or part of a customer's electricity requirements. It is important to note that while state law requires the DEC and municipal utilities to offer net metering under certain terms, the administrative rules adopted by order of the Delaware Public Service Commission (PSC) only apply to DP&L.
Utilities are authorized to disallow additional net-metered energy systems if the aggregate capacity of all net-metered systems exceeds 8% (S.B. 298 of 2022 increased this from 5% to 8%) of the capacity necessary to meet the electric utility's aggregated customer monthly peak demand for a particular calendar year.
All customer classes are credited for excess generation equal to the sum of the volumetric energy (kWh) components of the delivery service charges and supply service charges, explicitly excluding any societal benefits or non-volumetric charges, for any net excess generation (NEG) in a billing period. NEG is carried over to subsequent billing periods to offset a customer's consumption in those billing periods until all credits are used or at least until the end of a 12-month annual period. In essence, NEG is carried over to the customer's next bill at the utility's retail rate. The default annual period begins during the month in which the system is interconnected, but the customer is permitted to change the period once in order to better utilize excess generation. An exception to retail crediting exists for certain community-owned systems (i.e., those with multiple subscribers). Subscribers to the output of a community-owned system that is located behind a customer meter or as a stand-alone facility only receive retail credit if they are located on the same distribution feeder as the facility. Those that are not on the same distribution feeder only receive credit at the wholesale energy supply rate.
At the end of a customer-generator's annualized period, any remaining excess generation credits revert to the utility and the customer receives no compensation. Customer-generators may change their annualized period once to better utilize credits they generate. Customers retain ownership of renewable-energy credits (RECs) associated with electricity produced and consumed by the customer.
Delaware expanded the state's net-metering policy with S.B. 267 to allow customers to aggregate individual meters, to participate in net-metering via a subscribers "sharing a unique set of interests" to community-owned system or and aggregation of a customer's multiple accounts, to allow net-metering systems to provide up to 110% of a customers' expected aggregate electricity consumption, extending net-metering to leased and third party owned systems, and for single or aggregation of a customer's multiple accounts, and extending net-metering to fuel cells as well as renewable energy fuel cells for community-owned systems.
Net metering was expanded significantly in July 2007 by S.B. 8, which extended net metering to all customer classes, added biogas and fuel cells as eligible technologies, addressed the ownership of RECs, and increased the prior individual system limit of 25 kW, among other changes. The law was significantly amended by S.B. 85 in 2009 to extend net metering to farm service customers on residential rates; remove provisions requiring annual forfeiture of net excess generation (NEG); revise language relating to ownership of renewable energy credits produced by net metered systems; and, to expand the aggregate program capacity limit from 1% of Electric Supplier's aggregated customer monthly peak demand to 5% of Electric Supplier's aggregated customer monthly peak demand. Separately, S.B. 153 enacted in September 2009 extends net metering to the owner of a grid-integrated electric vehicle. Rules incorporating these changes were adopted by PSC Order No. 7698 in December 2009. In 2023, S.B. 54 ended the utility payout requirement for excess generation after an annualized period, reverting excess kWh back to the utility and, effective January 1, 2024, excess generation credit values are set to the volumetric supply and distribution service charges for all customers. S.B. 111 in 2023 increased the cap for farm net metering applications from 100 to 150 kW.
|Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
|System Capacity Limit:
System capacity can be up to 110% of customers 12 months of historical energy consumption up to:
Non-residential Delmarva Customers: 2 MW
Non-residential coop and muni customers: 500 kW
Residential customers: 25 kW
Farm Customers: 100 kW (can be subject to an appeal and case-by-case determination by Delaware Energy Office which may grant exceptions to this limitation in accordance with Title 26, section 1014(d)(1)b)
|Aggregate Capacity Limit:
|8% of Electric Supplier's aggregated customer monthly peak demand (utilities may increase limit)
|Net Excess Generation:
|Credited to customer's next bill at retail rate, except for certain community-owned facilities. After 12-month cycle, customer may opt to roll over credit indefinitely or to receive payment for credit at the energy supply rate.
|Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits:
|Customer owns RECs
|Allowed, see below for details
|26 Del. C. § 1014(d)
|1999 (subsequently amended)
|CDR § 26-3000-3001
|Delaware Public Service Commission
861 Silver Lake Blvd.
Dover DE 19904
This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.
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