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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 20. Public Utilities and Telecommunications
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission
Chapter 315. Regulations Governing Net Energy Metering
8/24/2019

20VAC5-315-20. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Agricultural business" means any sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, electing small business (Subchapter S) corporation, or limited liability company engaged primarily in the production and sale of plants and animals, products collected from plants and animals, or plant and animal services that are useful to the public.

"Agricultural net metering customer" means a customer that operates an electrical generating facility consisting of one or more agricultural renewable fuel generators having an aggregate generation capacity of not more than 500 kilowatts as part of an agricultural business under a net metering service arrangement. An agricultural net metering customer may be served by multiple meters of one utility that are located at separate but contiguous sites and that may be aggregated into one account. This account shall be served under the appropriate tariff.

"Agricultural renewable fuel generator" or "agricultural renewable fuel generating facility" means one or more electrical generators that:

1. Use as their sole energy source solar power, wind power, or aerobic or anaerobic digester gas;

2. The agricultural net metering customer owns and operates, or has contracted with other persons to own or operate, or both;

3. Are located on land owned or controlled by the agricultural business;

4. Are connected to the agricultural net metering customer's wiring on the agricultural net metering customer's side of the agricultural net metering customer's interconnection with the distributor;

5. Are interconnected and operated in parallel with an electric company's distribution facilities; and

6. Are used primarily to provide energy to metered accounts of the agricultural business.

"Billing period" means, as to a particular agricultural net metering customer or a net metering customer, the time period between the two meter readings upon which the electric distribution company and the energy service provider calculate the agricultural net metering customer's or net metering customer's bills.

"Billing period credit" means, for a nontime-of-use agricultural net metering customer or a nontime-of-use net metering customer, the quantity of electricity generated and fed back into the electric grid by the agricultural net metering customer's agricultural renewable fuel generator or generators or by the net metering customer's renewable fuel generator or generators in excess of the electricity supplied to the customer over the billing period. For time-of-use agricultural net metering customers or time-of-use net metering customers, billing period credits are determined separately for each time-of-use tier.

"Contiguous sites" means a group of land parcels in which each parcel shares at least one boundary point with at least one other parcel in the group. Property whose surface is divided only by public right-of-way is considered contiguous.

"Customer" means a net metering customer or an agricultural net metering customer.

"Demand charge-based time-of-use tariff" means a retail tariff for electric supply service that has two or more time-of-use tiers for energy-based charges and an electricity supply demand (kilowatt) charge.

"Electric distribution company" means the entity that owns or operates the distribution facilities delivering electricity to the premises of an agricultural net metering customer or a net metering customer.

"Energy service provider (supplier)" means the entity providing electricity supply service, either tariffed or competitive service, to an agricultural net metering customer or a net metering customer.

"Excess generation" means the amount of electrical energy generated in excess of the electrical energy consumed by the agricultural net metering customer or net metering customer over the course of the net metering period. For time-of-use agricultural net metering customers or net metering customers, excess generation is determined separately for each time-of-use tier.

"Generator" or "generating facility" means an electrical generating facility consisting of one or more renewable fuel generators or one or more agricultural renewable fuel generators that meet the criteria under the definition of "net metering customer" and "agricultural net metering customer," respectively.

"Net metering customer" means a customer owning and operating, or contracting with other persons to own or operate, or both, an electrical generating facility consisting of one or more renewable fuel generators having an aggregate generation capacity of not more than 20 kilowatts for residential customers and not more than one megawatt for nonresidential customers. The generating facility shall be operated under a net metering service arrangement.

"Net metering period" means each successive 12-month period beginning with the first meter reading date following the final interconnection of an agricultural net metering customer or a net metering customer's generating facility consisting of one or more agricultural renewable fuel generators or one or more renewable fuel generators, respectively, with the electric distribution company's distribution facilities.

"Net metering service" means providing retail electric service to an agricultural net metering customer operating an agricultural renewable fuel generating facility or a net metering customer operating a renewable fuel generating facility and measuring the difference, over the net metering period, between the electricity supplied to the customer from the electric grid and the electricity generated and fed back to the electric grid by the customer.

"Person" means any individual, sole proprietorship, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, association, company, business, trust, joint venture, or other private legal entity, the Commonwealth, or any city, county, town, authority, or other political subdivision of the Commonwealth.

"Renewable Energy Certificate" or "REC" represents the renewable energy attributes associated with the production of one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electrical energy by a generator.

"Renewable fuel generator" or "renewable fuel generating facility" means one or more electrical generators that:

1. Use renewable energy, as defined by § 56-576 of the Code of Virginia, as their total fuel source;

2. The net metering customer owns and operates, or has contracted with other persons to own or operate, or both;

3. Are located on the net metering customer's premises and connected to the net metering customer's wiring on the net metering customer's side of its interconnection with the distributor;

4. Are interconnected pursuant to a net metering arrangement and operated in parallel with the electric distribution company's distribution facilities; and

5. Are intended primarily to offset all or part of the net metering customer's own electricity requirements. The capacity of any generating facility installed on or after July 1, 2015, shall not exceed the expected annual energy consumption based on the previous 12 months of billing history or an annualized calculation of billing history if 12 months of billing history is not available.

"Small agricultural generating facility" means an electrical generating facility that:

1. Has a capacity of not more than 1.5 megawatts and does not exceed 150% of the customer's expected annual energy consumption based on the previous 12 months of billing history or an annualized calculation of billing history if 12 months of billing history is not available;

2. Uses as its total source of fuel renewable energy;

3. Is located on the customer's premises and is interconnected with the utility's distribution system through a separate meter;

4. Is interconnected and operated in parallel with an electric utility's distribution system but not transmission facilities;

5. Is designed so that the electricity generated is expected to remain on the utility's distribution system; and

6. Is a qualifying small power production facility pursuant to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-617).

"Small agricultural generator" means a customer that:

1. Is not an eligible agricultural customer-generator pursuant to § 56-594 of the Code of Virginia;

2. Operates a small agricultural generating facility as part of an agricultural business;

3. May be served by multiple meters that are located at separate but contiguous sites;

4. May aggregate the electricity consumption measured by the meters, solely for purposes of calculating 150% of the customer's expected annual energy consumption but not for billing or retail service purposes, provided that the same utility serves all of its meters;

5. Uses not more than 25% of the contiguous land owned or controlled by the agricultural business for purposes of the renewable energy generating facility; and

6. Provides the electric utility with a certification, attested under oath, as to the amount of land being used for renewable generation.

"Time-of-use customer" means an agricultural net metering customer or net metering customer receiving retail electricity supply service under a demand charge-based time-of-use tariff.

"Time-of-use period" means an interval of time over which the energy (kilowatt-hour) rate charged to a time-of-use customer does not change.

"Time-of-use tier" or "tier" means all time-of-use periods given the same name (e.g., on-peak, off-peak, critical peak, etc.) for the purpose of time-differentiating energy (kilowatt-hour)-based charges. The rates associated with a particular tier may vary by day and by season.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-594 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 16, Issue 20, eff. May 25, 2000; amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 18, eff. April 26, 2005; Volume 23, Issue 03, eff. September 26, 2006; Volume 24, Issue 26, eff. August 25, 2008; Volume 26, Issue 18, eff. April 28, 2010; Volume 28, Issue 06, eff. November 16, 2011; Volume 30, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2014; Volume 32, Issue 09, eff. December 28, 2015; Volume 34, Issue 13, eff. February 1, 2018.

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