Another four months, net metering wait continues

Utilities yet to submit details to Public Utilities Board

Ashley Fitzpatrick afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com
Published on September 22, 2016
Power meter

This province continues to lag behind on net metering.

 

“Net metering will allow utility customers with small-scale generating facilities to generate power from renewable sources for their own consumption,” explained a cheerful provincial government, in announcing a “net metering policy framework” in late July 2015.

More than a year later, net metering remains only something on the horizon.

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Wait continues for net metering

Net metering caught up in busy PUB schedule

Under Progressive Conservative Natural Resources minister Derrick Dalley, the province introduced its policy framework — allowing the practice within certain parameters, but leaving it to the utilities and the Public Utilities Board (PUB) to settle the details and bring the practice into reality here.

In late May 2016, current Liberal minister Siobhan Coady told The Telegram she was disappointed with the time it has taken to make it so. “We have met with both utilities to express concern and have asked them to move forward as quickly as possible to develop and submit a program to the Public Utilities Board (PUB),” she said.

But there has been no move to speed up the timeline.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industries Association has said local firms focused on products relating to green energy continue to be at a disadvantage under the status quo power regime.And another four months have now passed without even the details of the proposed net metering plans being filed with the regulator, let alone reviewed and settled.

According to response to questions in late August, a Nalcor Energy spokeswoman said Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro plans to have all required details filed to the PUB “by the end of the year.”

In response to a question today, a representative for Newfoundland Power said it also plans to submit by the end of the year.

“I feel that the people deserve an opportunity to make their own decision regarding their own investment into a Renewable Energy system to offset their own utility power costs, especially now that the costs will be taking a significant jump in 2021,” said a frustrated Gerry Skinner, president of Labrador Coastal Equipment and Newfoundland Energies, in an email to The Telegram.

Skinner accused the paper of failing to “stand up for justice” in regards to the topic.

Anyone similarly anxious to see net metering in place are encouraged to contact their political representatives and their power company directly. You can also voice your thoughts at: letters@thetelegram.com.

(NOTE: Updated to include response from Newfoundland Power.)

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com