Net Metering and Interconnection Best Practices


Applying the lessons from existing statewide net metering programs and interconnection procedures, IREC has drafted model interconnection procedures and net metering rules for use by state utility commissions and other stakeholders. As states consider adopting or revising programs, these models provide an easy way to emulate effective policies and avoid wasteful mistakes.

Critically, these models already represent a negotiated compromise and best practices regime — one proven to safeguard the grid and other ratepayers, while permitting distributed generation to flourish. It is the authors' view that to renegotiate the provisions within these models would simply consume resources in an attempt to reinventthe wheel.
Ideally, a uniform national renewable energy policy would stem from federal leadership. The current discrepancy in the design and implementation of several dozen vastly different state programs has created an uneven playing field for renewable energy service providers and utilities alike, and is preventing distributed renewable energy technologies from reaching economies of scale. Uniform federal interconnection and net metering standards could create a level playing field and provide greater regulatory predictability than the existing patchwork of state policies.

Model Net-Metering Rules

IREC’s model net metering rules have been highly influential in New Jersey and Colorado, which are widely considered to have the best net metering policies in the United States. IREC’s model rules apply to systems rated up to a customer’s service entrance capacity.
These rules are available for download.

Model Interconnection Standards and Procedures for Small Generator Facilities

IREC’s model interconnection procedures incorporate the best practices of small-generator interconnection procedures developed by various state governments, the FERC standards, the NARUC, and the Mid-Atlantic Distributed Resources Initiative (MADRI). IREC’s model standards include four levels of interconnection.

These standards are available for download.

Additional Resources

IREC’s Connecting to the Grid guide is now in its 6th edition. This guide provides a comprehensive introduction to a span of topics that relate to grid-tied renewable energy sources. The sixth edition has been revised to include information on IREC’s recently updated model procedures, alternative billing arrangements for net metering, energy storage and several other emerging issues in the field. This guide is designed for state regulators and other policymakers, utilities, industry representatives and consumers interested in the development of state-level interconnection and net metering policies.

A review of the four leading interconnection procedures will be available in the analysis: Keyes, Jason B. and Kevin T. Fox. (2008 ) Comparison of the Four Leading Small Generator Interconnection Procedures. U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar America Board for Codes and Standards.