In October 2009, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) approved net metering regulations. These rules were finalized and approved by the lieutenant governor in January 2010 and became effective January 15, 2010. All electric utilities subject to economic regulation are required to offer net metering. Independent systems with retail sales of less than 5,000,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) are exempt from offering net metering. Utilities that generate 100% of electricity from certain approved renewable energy sources and other sources approved by the RCA that have a low environmental impact are also exempt.
With these regulations, renewable energy systems with a capacity up to 25 kilowatts (kW) are eligible for net metering. Overall enrollment is limited to 1.5% of a utility's retail sales from the previous year. Utilities may require additional metering equipment, but the utilities are responsible for all costs associated with installing and maintaining this additional equipment.
Net excess generation is reconciled monthly, with the utility crediting the customer-generator's account for the excess kWh generation multiplied by the "non-firm power rate." These dollar amount credits do not expire and can be applied to subsequent monthly bills. Utilities cannot charge customer-generators additional standby, capacity, interconnection, or other charges unless approved by the RCA.