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June 9, 2017
NEM Western Energy Policy Summit

Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for NEM's Western Energy Policy Summit on October 23-25, 2017. The Summit will take place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. An agenda is forthcoming. You may register at this hotlink.

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Informal Comments Requested on Retail Choice En Banc Hearing Topics

Following the May 19th Retail Choice En Banc Hearing, the Commission President has requested informal comments on the Staff white paper entitled, “Consumer and Retail Choice, the Role of the Utility, and an Evolving Regulatory Framework,” as well as the en banc panelist questions included in the hearing agenda. Panels were divided into consumers, competitive providers, regulated utilities, and academics and thought leaders, with questions tailored to each sector. Comments are due June 16, 2017.

The Staff white paper notes that between rooftop solar, Community Choice Aggregation and Direct Access providers (ESPs), that 25% of utility retail load will be served a non-IOU source or provider this year (550,000 solar customers, 915,000 CCA customers). That number is estimated to increase to 85% over the coming decade.

The white paper reviews the state’s aggressive GHG reduction goals that require significant infrastructure investments but that traditional utility rate structures rely on volumetric sales of electricity. The white paper explains the integrated planning process, resource adequacy requirements, and demand forecasts involving load serving entities.

Currently, the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) recovers above market energy costs from customers that chose to leave utility bundled service for an ESP or CCA. Non-bypassable charges that recover infrastructure costs have recently been expanded to include net energy metering customers. The development and application of the PCIA and NBCs to ensure fair cost allocation among customers is a contentious issue.

The white paper notes that consideration must be given as to whether a new provider of last resort should be adopted, and whether competitive retail or POLR service becomes the default. Likewise, utility legacy generation contracts and the application of non-bypassable exit fees or wires charges should be examined.

State law permitted the CAPUC to require the utilities to develop default time of use rates for residential customers in 2019, but a corresponding requirement does not apply to ESPs or CCAs. The white paper raises the concern that non-participation in time of use pricing may cause providers to vary prices and rates for commodity based on customer profiling by location.

The white paper notes that consumer protection for ESPs were adopted many years ago but similar safeguards have not been developed for CCAs, rooftop solar installers or community solar marketers. The appropriate regulations to apply to the market for these products should be explored.

The full texts of the Staff White Papers and the Retail Choice En Banc Hearing Agenda are available on the NEM Website. The full texts of the Retail Choice En Banc Hearing Agenda and Staff White Paper are available on the NEM Website.

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Nevada Legislature Passes AB405

The Nevada legislature passed AB405, which would would reinstate net energy metering for residential solar installations. Governor Sandoval has stated he intends to sign the bill.

AB405 sets forth required information and disclosures for agreements for the sale and lease of distributed generation as well as power purchase agreements. If any of those documents include a reference to the electric utility's price of electricity, it must also include a disclosure that "Actual utility rates may go up or down and actual savings may vary. For further information regarding rates, you may contact your local utility or the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada."

AB405 establishes a Renewable Energy Bill of Rights, establishing that each natural person that is a resident of Nevada has the right to:
"1. Generate, consume and export renewable energy and reduce his or her use of electricity that is obtained from the grid.
2. Use technology to store energy at his or her residence.
3. If the person generates renewable energy pursuant to subsection 1, or stores energy pursuant to subsection 2, or any combination thereof, be allowed to connect his or her system that generates renewable energy or stores energy, or any combination thereof, with the electricity meter on the customer’s side that is provided by an electric utility or any other person named and defined in chapters 704, 704A and 704B of NRS:
(a) In a timely manner;
(b) In accordance with requirements established by the electric utility to ensure the safety of utility workers; and
(c) After providing written notice to the electric utility providing service in the service territory and installing a nomenclature plate on the electrical meter panel indicating that a system that generates renewable energy or stores energy, or any combination thereof, is present if the system:
(1) Is not used for exporting renewable energy past the electric utility meter on the customer’s side; and
(2) Meets all applicable state and local safety and electrical code requirements.
4. Fair credit for any energy exported to the grid.
5. Consumer protections in contracts for renewable energy pursuant to sections 2 to 20, inclusive, of this act.
6. Have his or her generation of renewable energy given priority in planning and acquisition of energy resources by an electric utility.
7. Except as otherwise provided in section 27 or 28.3 of this act, remain within the existing broad rate class to which the resident would belong in the absence of a net metering system or a system that generates renewable energy or stores energy, or any combination thereof, without any fees or charges that are different than the fees and charges assessed to customers of the same rate class, regardless of the technologies on the customer’s side of the electricity meter, including, without limitation, energy production, energy savings, energy consumption, energy storage or energy shifting technologies, provided that such technologies do not compromise the safety and reliability of the utility grid."

AB 405 would establish a tiered system of net metering credits. Those in the first tier would be reimbursed for excess generation from a solar system at 95 percent of the retail electricity rate. AB405 established four tiers, through which credit rates decrease in 7 percent increments for every 80 megawatts of rooftop solar generation deployed, down to a floor of 75 percent of the retail rate.

AB 405 would also allow net-metered customers to lock in their rate for at least 20 years, addressing the risk of retroactive rate changes. In the event that retail electric choice becomes available, the ability of customers to use existing net metering systems will not be impacted.

The full text of Enrolled AB405 is available on the NEM Website.

New York
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Comments Sought on Staff Clean Energy Standard Phase 2 Implementation Plan Proposal

The Commission is requesting comments on the proposed Clean Energy Standard (CES) Phase 2 Implementation Plan previously filed by Commission Staff and NYSERDA. The Phase 2 proposal addresses implementation of CES requirements for the period of 2018 through 2021. The proposal makes a calculation of jurisdictional load, anticipated annual procurement targets and statewide available renewable energy. The Phase 2 proposal makes a revised calculation of the RES Tier 1 LSE obligation for 2018 through 2021, which is calculated as 0.15% (2018), 0.78% (2019), 2.84% (2020), and 4.20% (2021).

Of particular note is the proposal to change the frequency and timing of Tier 1 REC sales by NYSERDA. Instead of prospectively soliciting LSEs to contractually commit to purchase anticipated Tier 1 RECs as was previously done, for the 2018 compliance period it is proposed that NYSERDA offer four quarterly Tier 1 REC sale events through which LSEs will be offered the actual number of Tier 1 RECs in NYSERDA's NYGATS account at the time of sale. This is intended to benefit LSEs that should have improved knowledge of their actual load served during the prior quarter, thereby reducing LSE risk. The REC sale events will align with the certificate process in NYGATS.

NYSERDA will file with the Commission and post on its website the 2018 Tier 1 REC sale price and the 2018 Alternative Compliance Payment (ACP) price by December 1, 2017. It is proposed that only RES-obligated LSEs be able to purchase RECs from NYSERDA for the 2018 compliance year. LSEs will continue to be able to satisfy their Tier 1 RES obligation by purchasing RECs from NYSERDA, self-supply, agreements with renewable energy resources or intermediaries, ACPs or a combination thereof. Comments are due July 24, 2017. The full text of the CES Phase 2 Implementation Plan Proposal is available on the NEM Website.

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