In March 2008, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) adopted rules for net metering and interconnection for renewable-energy systems up to two megawatts (MW) in capacity. The PSC rules apply only to the state's investor-owned utilities; the rules do not apply to electric cooperatives or municipal utilities. Net metering is available to customers who generate electricity using solar energy, geothermal energy, wind energy, biomass energy, ocean energy, hydrogen, waste heat or hydroelectric power.
Customer net excess generation (NEG) is carried forward at the utility's retail rate (i.e., as a kilowatt-hour credit) to a customer's next bill for up to 12 months. At the end of a 12-month billing period, the utility pays the customer for any remaining NEG at the utility's avoided-cost rate. Renewable energy credits (RECs) are the property of the system owner, and customers may sell RECs back to the utility. There is no stated aggregate capacity limit for net-metered systems.
Utilities must file annual reports with the Florida PSC indicating the number of customer-generators and the size, type and location of their renewable energy systems, the aggregate capacity of net-metered generation, the amount of energy delivered to and generated from interconnected customers, and the total energy payments made to interconnected customers.
In June 2008, Florida enacted legislation ([http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Documents/loaddoc.aspx?FileName=_... H.B. 7135]) confirming that the PSC had the authority to adopt the March 2008 rules related to interconnection and net metering for investor-owned utilities.* In addition, H.B. 7135 required municipal utilities and electric cooperatives to "develop a standardized interconnection agreement and net metering program for customer-owned renewable generation" by July 1, 2009.** However, the law does not provide clear standards or define net metering for municipal utilities and electric cooperatives. Municipal utilities and electric cooperatives are required to file an annual report with the PSC detailing customer participation, although the PSC does not have direct authority over these utilities.
''* While the PSC regulates investor-owned utilities, individual utilities have different forms for net metering and interconnection applications. Customers should visit their utility web site for more information and for appropriate net metering and interconnection application forms.
''** Prior to the enactment of H.B. 7135, several municipal and cooperative utilities -- including Lakeland Electric, JEA and Orlando Utilities Commission -- voluntarily offered net metering to their customers. For information on the current net metering programs offered by these utilities, see their web sites: [http://www.jea.com/services/electric/rates_netmeterpolicy.asp JEA Net Metering], [http://www.ouc.com/en/residential/Solar/solar_incentives.aspx Orlando Utilities Commission Net Metering]''