Virginia lawmakers approved legislation on Feb. 18 that would make changes to the net metering program for customers of electric cooperatives, including increasing the cap from one percent of system peak to three percent for residential, four percent for not-for-profit and non-jurisdictional, and two percent for non-residential customers. The bill would allow electric cooperatives to raise these caps to up to seven percent of system peak. (SB 1769)
The legislation would legalize “third-party partial requirements” power purchase contracts for retail customers and non-jurisdictional customers that are exempt from federal income taxation, with a self-certification requirement. Electric cooperatives would be authorized to adopt a new rate schedule, allowing customers who interconnected prior to the transition date to continue under current terms until July 1, 2039. The bill would remove standby charges after the transition date and allow cooperatives to start imposing demand charges implemented over a five-year period.