Amendment of Ontario Regulation 541/05: Net Metering, made under the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998
Bill or Act:
Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998
Summary of Decision:
On February 8, 2017 Ontario filed O. Reg. 24/17, which amended O. Reg. 541/05 (Net Metering) made pursuant to the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998. The amended regulation is published on e-laws, and the amendments will come into force on July 1, 2017.
The amendments include:
• Clarifying the description of the method used to calculate bill credits. This includes explicitly stating that electricity retailers are not responsible for crediting net metering participants for volumetric Global Adjustment charges - that is the responsibility of the local distribution company.
• Clarifying that the carryover period for bill credits is a consecutive 12-month period.
• Removing the 500 kilowatt (kW) project capacity size limit to allow for any sized renewable energy generation facility (aka "system"), subject to the system being used primarily for the generator's own use.
• Explicitly enabling net-metered customers to pair energy storage with renewable energy systems. For clarity, storage of electricity from the renewable energy generation facility and from the distributor's distribution system will be permitted, as will the remittance of stored electricity to the distribution system.
• Allowing participants with existing net metering agreements the option of entering into new agreements which reflect the updated provisions of Ontario Regulation 24/17, or of maintaining their existing agreements.
August 19, 2016
Summary of Proposal:
A plain language description of the proposed amendments to the regulation follows:
1. Continue to compensate generators on the same basis as they are charged for consumption of electricity as consumers (i.e. volumetric electricity charges). Simplify (put in plain language) the description of the method used to calculate credits.
2. Require electricity distributors to carry forwardb positive bill credits for net-metered accounts for a consecutive 12-month period. This would extend the credit carryover period from 11 months to 12 months.
3. Remove the requirement that the equipment used to generate electricity be no greater than 500 kilowatts (kW), based on the rated maximum output capacity of the equipment. The intent is to enable larger customers to right-size renewable energy systems to their load. Larger customers tend to self-consume a higher proportion of generated electricity due to higher daytime loads, aligning with the objective to match generation to local demand, which can help reduce local load and related infrastructure needs. The requirement that the generator must generate power primarily for their own use and the proposed 12-month credit reset period will encourage right-sizing for all customers.
4. Establish a billing method for Single-Entity Virtual Net Metering (credit transfers between multiple electricity accounts held by the same person or corporation), subject to: account meters being located within the same electricity distributor service territory and within a maximum distance (e.g. a 3 kilometer radius). The Ministry of Energy is seeking feedback regarding limitations on the use of the electricity distribution system for Single-Entity Virtual Net Metering projects.
5. Allow for the use of energy storage when paired with renewable energy generation. In other words, storage and remittance of electricity from the electricity distribution system and from a renewable energy system would be permitted.
6. Allow participants who have existing net metering agreements prior to the effective date of the proposed updated Regulation the option of entering into new agreements which reflect the updated provisions, or of maintaining their existing agreements.
Nothing in this proposal would change the condition that the connection of a net metering facility is subject to electricity distributor license conditions governing the connection of generation facilities, including applicable provisions contained in the OEB Distribution System Code.
Attn.: Emma Schwab-Pflug
Senior Policy Advisor
Conservation and Renewable Energy Division
Ontario Ministry of Energy
77 Grenville St., 5th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 2C1
March 9, 2017