Electric utility regulation; net energy metering. (SB779)

Introduced By

Sen. Richard Stuart (R-Westmoreland) with support from co-patron Sen. John Edwards (D-Roanoke)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Electric utility regulation; net energy metering. Authorizes any eligible customer-generator or eligible agricultural customer-generator to enter into a contract to sell any net metering eligible energy exceeding the eligible customer-generator's or eligible agricultural customer-generator's own energy demand for any monthly period to any other retail customer within the same service territory of the incumbent utility. The measure increases the maximum size of the aggregate generating facility that qualifies for (i) the agricultural net energy metering program from 500 kilowatts to two megawatts, (ii) the net metering program for residential eligible customer-generators from 20 kilowatts to 50 kilowatts, and (iii) the net metering program for nonresidential eligible customer-generators from one megawatt to two megawatts. The measure replaces the existing provision that allows an eligible agricultural customer-generator to be served by multiple meters that are located at separate but contiguous sites with a provision that allows such a customer-generator to be served by multiple meters that are located on one parcel or on multiple adjacent parcels. The measure repeals the provision that caps the size of a generation facility of an eligible customer-generator at his expected annual energy consumption. The measure also (a) replaces the existing provision that provides that an eligible customer-generator or eligible agricultural customer-generator will be paid for excess electricity at the rate that is provided for such purchases in a net metering standard contract or tariff approved by the State Corporation Commission with a requirement that they will be paid at a rate equal to the customer-generator's approved customer rate schedule plus all applicable riders and (b) repeals the provision that limits the net energy metering programs to one percent of each electric distribution company's adjusted Virginia peak-load forecast for the previous year. Amends § 56-594, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »


02/02/2016: Awaiting a Vote in the Commerce and Labor Committee


02/02/2016Unanimous consent to introduce
02/02/2016Presented and ordered printed 16104820D
02/02/2016Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
02/11/2016Impact statement from SCC (SB779)
02/15/2016Committee substitute printed to Web only 16105574D-S1
02/15/2016Incorporates SB148
02/15/2016Continued to 2017 in Commerce and Labor (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)


Andrew Pohle writes:

Public legislation needs to support farmers in Virginia in a goods they can harvest from food to solar power.

Margaret Brown writes:

This is an important step toward creating more opportunities for Virginia farmers, as well as for expanding renewable energy in the Commonwealth. Thanks to Senator Stuart for proposing this bill.

Jane Twitmyer writes:

As a renewable energy advocate and consultant I have lobbied for a change in the rules that will allow our farmers to add a firm base
income to their farming income.

New Mexico and Iowa farmers do this with wind. Germany has done something similar for years and the ability to do so has helped them lead the world in renewable generated electricity.

The rules protecting our utilities as 'natural monopolies' is out of date. It is time to change the rules as is being done in NY and CA