Measure Promotes Growth of Small-Scale Renewable Energy Projects
A bill Assemblyman John F. McKeon sponsored to augment New Jersey’s clean energy market by encouraging residents to generate their own electricity using renewable energy sources is now law.
The law (A-3838) increases the electric power net metering cap established in the “Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act” to 2.9 percent of the total annual kilowatt-hours sold in New Jersey, effectively quadrupling the state limit on net metering.
“This measure will help boost New Jersey’s green energy market and reduce the state’s dependence on non-renewable power sources,” said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). “By encouraging the installation of solar panels as well as the use of solar energy, updating New Jersey’s law on net metering can simultaneously spur green job growth and fulfill our duty to protect the environment.”
Electric power suppliers and basic generation service providers offer net metering, a billing mechanism that reimburses utility customer-generators for excess power they contribute to the electric grid, as a cost-reducing option to owners of homes and businesses who produce their own power.
Under previous law, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities authorized suppliers and providers to cease this offer when the total rated generating capacity owned and operated by net metering customer-generators statewide reached 2.5 percent of the state’s peak demand.
In shifting to using the total annual kilowatt hours sold rather than the peak demand as the metric for the cap, the new law enables customer-generators to reap greater benefits from net-metering in New Jersey, McKeon said.
“Increasing the cap on net metering means that less of the excess energy a home or business produces will go to waste,” said McKeon. “With this new law, energy can be managed more efficiently, and net generators will receive more credit for the power they produce, thus reducing their overall electricity costs.”
The measure, which received approval from both houses of the legislature in June, was signed into law on Monday.