Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Utility Solar Rates Summit
Evaluating NEM Actions & Other Solar Rate Mechanisms
March 1-2, 2018
Nashville, TN

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Overview

Net energy metering (NEM) was a simple and appropriate rate mechanism when the solar industry began its push into the power industry equation and consumer-installed PV panels were relatively uncommon. It was simple for consumers and small businesses to understand the value proposition, and relatively benign for utilities to integrate the limited number of solar customers in their service areas.  In the last five years or so, the explosion in the adoption of solar and the accelerating penetration of these resources onto the grid has brought it into the power industry mainstream.  This surge has triggered some uncomfortable disputes among utilities, customers, regulators, solar providers and other stakeholders important to the process.

For a rapidly expanding number of utilities, the question is no longer if solar penetration will become significant enough to revise their business model.  Rather, it is how to facilitate this expanding development and consumer adoption of solar, while fairly recovering the costs associated with the grid and system adjustments required to absorb these distributed solar generation resources. Over the years, some 40 states have adopted NEM as the regulatory remedy for addressing this economic balancing act.  Now, though, many state regulatory commissions and the utilities they oversee are evaluating whether and how to push the NEM re-set button.  This is in response to two gripes brought on by the consequences of allowing the consumer’s meter to run “backwards” and sell energy back to the grid: 1) that the revenue of utilities and load-serving entities is being reduced, while the unrecoverable costs to service this non-centralized form of generation and the grid remain or are increasing, and 2) that this rate mechanism can result in economic inequities among ratepayer classes. Consequently, alternative measures for allocating the costs and benefits equitably among the parties involved are now receiving greater attention, study and debate.

This NEM utility summit will explore common NEM rate structures and many alternatives under consideration. It will examine the array of options that utilities and regulatory commissions are looking to as a means for striking the necessary balance between promoting the advancement of solar policy and development, facilitating appropriate rate recovery, ensuring grid reliability and enabling consumer choice.  Finally, the program will consider how various jurisdictions are working through these challenges, and what the results have been or are projected to be.

Learning Outcomes

Through presentations and panel discussions, attendees will have the opportunity at this conference to:

  • Appraise various utility solar rate designs and mechanisms in use
  • Identify common elements of regulatory costs, benefits and externalities that can be reflected in “retail” rate structures
  • Evaluate strategic utility challenges in properly establishing solar program revenue targets
  • Examine distributed solar valuation, avoided cost and levelized cost (LCOE) calculation metrics and assumptions
  • Discuss “in-progress” net energy metering, tariff and related “retail” solar rate proceedings and their prospective relevance to foregoing utility rate cases
  • Assess how the higher penetration of customer distributed generation solar impacts utility business models for the future

Credits

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EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.2 CEUs for this conference and 0.4 CEUs for the workshop.

 

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must sign in/out each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the conference to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

Case studies and PowerPoint presentations will be used in this program.

Agenda

Thursday, March 1, 2018

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 8:45 a.m. :: Welcome and Overview


8:45 – 10:00 a.m. :: Why is NEM in Flux and Where?

This opening segment will survey more or less current actions in the United States where there have been proposed and enacted legislative, regulatory policy, and rate design changes affecting the value proposition of distributed solar PV, with a special emphasis on net energy metering (NEM).  Its content draws on a report prepared by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center that explores several questions about the changing U.S. solar policy landscape:

  • How are (1) state regulatory bodies and legislatures and (2) electric utilities addressing fast growing markets for distributed solar PV?
  • Policy attribute debates and importance to utilities and customers of…
    • Rates
    • Customer contribution(s) to grid
    • Impact on utility business model(s)
  • What changes to traditional rate design features and net metering policies are being proposed, approved, and implemented?
  • Pending DOE-sponsored study to Congress weighing the cost and benefits of net energy metering

Autumn Proudlove, Manager – Policy Research, North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center

10:00 – 10:15 a.m. :: Morning Break


10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: What Are Some Common NEM and Alternative Mechanisms and How Do They Work?

Understanding the components that go in to various net energy metering (NEM) and solar rate methodologies is essential for utilities and regulatory commissions when they are considering whether and how to pursue a modification of the state policies that govern these (mostly) solar-specific mechanisms. This extended segment will examine how multiple rate structures are formulated, and will recognize the important relationships that each of these mechanisms have to rate class, utility business model and metering/billing infrastructure:

  • Net Billing – allows solar owners to defer the full retail rate for onsite produced and consumed electricity
  • Buy-all, sell-all – sells all solar generated electricity at a below retail rate to the grid and requires solar owners to pay retail for all kWh they consume
  • Monthly fixed charge
  • Residential demand charge (solar-specific)
  • Separate rate class
  • TOU rates – compensation for generation by solar customers that vary by time-of-day
  • Standby charges
  • VoST (value of solar tariff) – benefits of solar – grid costs [+ “broader social benefits”]
  • Adjustable block – designed to procure renewable energy credits from distributed energy resources, with each block of credits is assigned a certain purchase price and a nameplate capacity
  • Feed-in Tariffs – electricity consumption and generation are priced separately, typically involving a 15 – 20 year contract with prices pre-defined above retail and payment provided for every kWh generated with a tariff digression, effectively reducing earnings over time
  • Market-base incentive – monthly credits to solar customers equal to a large percentage of the value of energy and transmission service, and a smaller percentage of distribution service for excess generation sent back to the grid
  • Charges that do not fit neatly within the traditional definitions of fixed charges, demand charges, and minimum bills

Lon Huber, Senior Director, Strategen

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon


1:00 – 2:30 p.m. :: Distinction in NEM Between Vertically Integrated and Competitive Electricity States

This segment will consider whether NEM programs are influenced based on whether they are administered in electric service territories that fall within different types of regulatory constructs – and will consider the similarities and distinctions of – these distinct categories:

  • Wholesale electricity markets (typically ISOs)
  • Retail competitive choice electricity markets
  • Vertically integrated electric utilities (VIEUs)
  • Hybrid VIEU/electricity market

Tom Stanton, Principal Researcher – Energy & Environment, National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI)

Jamie Barber, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Manager, Georgia PSC and Chair –Staff Subcommittee on Rate Design, NARUC

2:30 – 3:00 p.m. :: Networking Break


3:00 – 5:00 p.m. :: As a Class, Should Residential Solar Warrant Conventional or Special Rate Consideration?

This segment will be a panel discussion consisting of content experts who advocate for specific NEM or other solar-centric rate structures, as well as content experts who believe that residential and other non-commercial solar should not have specific and/or (un)favorable rate treatment.

Lon Huber, Senior Director, Strategen

Tommy Vitolo, Senior Associate, Synapse Energy Economics

Jessica Hobbick, Billing and Business Analyst Manager, Arizona Public Service (APS)

Rick Gilliam, Program Director – DG Regulatory Policy, Vote Solar

Jeff Bailey, Director – Pricing and Analysis, Duke Energy

5:00 p.m. :: Program Adjournment for Day


Friday, March 2, 2017

7:45 – 8:15 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast


8:15 – 9:45 a.m. :: Case Studies – Transitional (“Incremental”) Approach

Adopting smaller changes and obtaining more data from studies and pilots before shifting direction quickly or making structural adjustments

  • Louisiana
  • Indiana
  • Utah
  • South Carolina

Tommy Vitolo, Senior Associate, Synapse Energy Economics

Barbara Smith, Executive Director – Technical Operations, Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor

Jeff Bailey, Director – Pricing and Analysis, Duke Energy

Robert Meredith, Manager – Pricing/Cost of Service, Rocky Mountain Power

9:45 – 10:00 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:00 – 11:00 a.m. :: Case Studies – Getting to Yes

Long-term, sometimes contentious, proceedings that yield a workable outcome

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • New York

Rick Gilliam, Program Director – DG Regulatory Policy, Vote Solar

Stephen Wemple, General Manager – Utility of the Future, conEdison

Jessica Hobbick, Billing and Business Analyst Manager, Arizona Public Service (APS)


11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. :: Case Studies – If Not NEM, Then What?

Formulating a policy and process approach that re-frames the value proposition

  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Illinois

Lon Huber, Senior Director, Strategen

Scott Vogt, Vice President for Energy Acquisition, ComEd

Elizabeth Mahony, Assistant Attorney General – Senior Policy Advisor for Energy, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. :: Group Luncheon


1:30 – 3:00 p.m. :: Characteristics of Regulatory/Utility Structures that Satisfy “Most of the Parties Most of the Time”

This segment will consider which state regulatory commissions and utilities are successfully balancing the fundamental regulatory and market-based business compacts that have a bearing on NEM and VoST formulations, and forging outcomes that are earning broad buy-in.  It will consider:

  • Issues of common perspective to reduce conflict
  • Rate stabilization methods that achieve the objective of addressing utility concerns and still facilitate distributed solar participation
  • Ratepayer equity across other class(es)
  • Information and data transparency to regulators and stakeholders
  • Role and compensation for non-utility solar providers and developers

Panel Discussion

3:00 p.m. :: Program Adjournment

Workshop

Calculating the Value of Solar to the System and the Local Distribution Grid

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Overview

This workshop will provide a comprehensive overview of distributed photovoltaic solar valuation efforts across the US and highlight new methodologies coming from leading states. The workshop will also delve into the various methodologies used to examine distribution system costs and benefits from DG solar.  If a pending DOE-sponsored study to Congress weighing the cost and benefits of net energy metering has been issued, those findings will be considered.  Finally, it will compare and contrast different approaches by jurisdiction, covering such topics as New York’s V-DER tariff, California’s LNBA method, and Arizona’s Resource Comparison Proxy approach.

Learning Outcomes

Attendees will gain practical skills and insights on how to:

  • Identify the fundamental issues relating to DG solar valuation and the background context for DG Solar valuation.
  • Evaluate the nature of and differences in valuation approaches and the purposes of each.
  • Assess the components of value (costs and benefits) and the differences in methodology for calculating or estimating value for DG solar.
  • Define the way value of solar studies have been and can be used in setting rates, benchmarking incentives and compensation.
  • Review the major regulatory cases, rulemakings, and other regulatory and legislative proceedings relating to DG solar valuation.
  • Understand new methods and approaches relating to DG valuation

Agenda

12:30 – 1:00 p.m. :: Workshop Registration

1:00 – 4:45 p.m. :: Workshop Timing

  1. Value of Solar Studies across the US
    • Overview and recap of all the major studies to date
    • Interim progress or findings of pending DOE-sponsored study to Congress weighing the cost and benefits of net energy metering (if it has been issued)
  2. Common Elements of Value of Solar Studies
    • What most studies capture
    • Cost categories
    • Benefit attributes that generate controversy between parties 
    • State and Utility Case Studies
    • Deep dives into relevant state studies and approaches, including…
      • Austin
      • Nevada
      • Maine
      • California
      • Minnesota
      • Arizona
  3. Approaches to Distribution Valuation
    • In depth discussion of different methods to determine locational value
      • Locational Net Benefit Analysis (LNBA)
      • Locational System Relief Value (LSRV)
      • Load Carrying Capacity Factor (LCCF)
  4. “Value Stack” Tariffs
    • Exploration of a new approach to value of solar — New York’s V-DER tariff
  5. Conducting a Valuation Study
    • Cardinal elements from A-Z

Instructors

Lon Huber, Head of Consulting, Strategen Consulting

Lon Huber is Head of Consulting in Strategen Consulting’s utility and government practice. He provides independent analysis, strategy, and policy solutions to a diversity of clients working in the energy industry. He is currently involved in numerous public proceedings across the US covering such topics as rate design, community solar, energy storage policy, net metering, and the designing of new DER market structures. Prior to joining Strategen, Mr. Huber worked in the private sector and for the consumer advocate’s office in Arizona, where he was the staff lead on key issues facing the electric utilities in the state. In this position he shaped high profile decisions around net energy metering, resource procurement, and utility-owned distributed generation. He got his start in academia at a renewable energy focused research institute. He received a congressional recognition award for his work in educating citizens about solar energy. During this time, he was also recognized as an Arizona Daily Star “40 under 40” winner for leadership, community impact, and professional accomplishment.  Mr. Huber earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Policy and Management and a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Arizona.

Morgan Putnam, Director, Clean Power Research

Morgan Putnam is a Director of Business Development at Clean Power Research. In that role, he interfaces with utilities, DER developers, regulatory agencies, and strategic software partners to advance the energy transformation by identifying the specific things that utilities and developers need to integrate renewables and DERs onto the grid and into the utility business model. Mr. Putnam started his career in the solar industry working on next-generation solar cell technologies at Caltech. After earning his PhD in materials science in 2010, he co-founded Caelux Corp., receiving both a Department of Energy SunShot award and venture-capital financing in 2011.

Speakers

 

Jeff Bailey, Director – Pricing and Analysis, Duke Energy

Jamie Barber, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Manager, Georgia PSC and Chair –Staff Subcommittee on Rate Design, NARUC

Rick Gilliam, Program Director – DG Regulatory Policy, Vote Solar

Lon Huber, Senior Director, Strategen

Jessica Hobbick, Billing and Business Analyst Manager, Arizona Public Service (APS)

Elizabeth Mahony, Assistant Attorney General – Senior Policy Advisor for Energy, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Robert Meredith, Manager – Pricing/Cost of Service, Rocky Mountain Power

Autumn Proudlove, Manager – Policy Research, North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center

Morgan Putnam, Director, Clean Power Research

Barbara Smith, Executive Director – Technical Operations, Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor

Tom Stanton, Principal Researcher – Energy & Environment, National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI)

Tommy Vitolo, Senior Associate, Synapse Energy Economics

Scott Vogt, Vice President for Energy Acquisition, ComEd

Stephen Wemple, General Manager – Utility of the Future, conEdison

 

Location

Millennium Maxwell House Hotel Nashville
2025 Rosa L Parks Blvd
Nashville, TN 37228

To reserve your room, please call 1-615-259-4343
Please indicate that you are with the EUCI group to receive the group rate.

Room Rate:

The room rate is $99.00 single or double plus applicable taxes.

Room Block Dates:

A room block has been reserved for the nights of February 25 – March 1, 2018.

Rate Available Until:

Make your reservations prior to February 10, 2018. There are a limited number of rooms available at the conference rate. Please make your reservations early.

 

Register

Event Standard RateAttendees
Proceedings package US $ 395.00
Supporting Organization