If you attended Solar Drinks last night, then you learned the ugly truth about what happened to net-metering as a result of the trailer bill (HB3036) to ComEd’s bill (SB1652). Within a year or so, no ComEd customer will be eligible for net-metering.
ELPC and the ISEA have been advocating for an increase in net-metering from 40 kW to 2 MW and a bill with that language did pass Congress during this past legislative session, but then was swallowed by ComEd’s bill. In the process of digestion the language was altered and became quite complicated.
Thanks to the dogged work of ELPC they unraveled the language and discovered the bad news. The net-metering cap was raised to 2 MW, but the electric customers who use that amount of energy are ineligible for net-metering (1:1 kilowatt-hour credit) because they have been declared a competitive customer. They would only receive ComEd’s “avoided cost” credit. But that is only the beginning.
ComEd electric customers with peak loads of 100 kWh to 400 kWh (medium-sized customers) and 400 kWh and above (large-sized customers) were declared competitive by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) in October and August respectively. A category of customers is declared competitive when more than 33% have chosen at least 3 different alternative Retail Energy Suppliers (RES) to supply their electricity.
It won’t be long until all ComEd customers, retail included, are declared competitive. This means no ComEd customer with a renewable energy system of any size will be eligible for true net-metering (1:1 rate). All renewable energy customers will only receive the avoided cost. In essence Illinois has taken a mighty step backwards from the previous net-metering policy.
Off-grid living with battery storage is beginning to look appealing.