Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ritter Signs Net Metering Bill

Gov. Bill Ritter signed Wednesday a bill that will require the state's municipal utilities and rural electric cooperatives to grant credit on the electric bills of their customers who generate power from renewable sources.

HB 1160, sponsored by Rep. Judy Solano, D-Brighton, caps the amount of "home-grown" power for which a utility must give credit. Residential generators can get credit on their electricity bills for up to 10 kilowatt-hours of power, while commercial users can get credit for up to 25 KwH.

"This marks another momentous step forward as we engage homeowners and businesses in participating in the New Energy Economy," Ritter said. "This bill brings fair and equitable net-metering policies to citizens throughout the state, and it encourages more residential investment in renewable energy while supporting its use in rural communities."

The measure allows the municipal utilities and rural electric cooperatives to require the customer-generator to provide insurance and comply with technical interconnection standards. It does not apply to municipal utilities with less than 5,000 customers. It applies to power generated from solar, wind and hot water systems.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 42 states plus the District of Columbia have net metering laws in effect. Amendment 37, passed by the state's voters in 2004, imposed net metering requirements on investor-owned utilities operating in Colorado.