Click here to read the net metering regulations.
Virginia's current net metering law covers residential systems up to 10 kW and commercial systems up to 500 kW. Eligible technologies include solar, wind and hydropower systems intended primarily to offset part or all of a customer's requirements for electricity. Enrollment is open on a first-come, first-served basis until the rated generating capacity owned and operated by customer-generators in the state reaches 1% of each electric distribution company's peak load for the previous year.
Monthly net excess generation is carried forward monthly. In the original rules, any excess at the end of a twelve-month period was granted to the utility. However, it was later decided that, while the month-to-month system should remain intact, excess generated in the twelfth month of the annual period could be credited to the following month. This credit cannot exceed the amount of energy purchased during the previous annual period. For example, if a customer-generator bought 1,500 kWh from a utility during the first eleven months of the annual period, and then generated 2,000 kWh of excess electricity in the twelfth month, the customer could carry forward 1,500 kWh to the following month, and the remaining 500 kWh would be granted to the utility. If a customer-generator wants to receive monetary compensation for excess electricity, that customer may attempt to enter into a purchase-power agreement with a utility.
Interconnection rules were completed and utility tariffs finalized in the summer of 2000. Each utility uses a simplified one-page interconnection agreement. Customers can use a standard kilowatt-hour meter that measures electrical flow in two directions. Systems must comply with the National Electrical Code Article 690, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers standards, and Underwriters Laboratories standards. For systems that meet these technical requirements, no additional protective equipment may be required by the utility.