Ontario Proposes New Regulations to Support Expanded Net Metering
A series of recent postings to Ontario’s Regulatory Registry set out proposed amended or new regulations that are intended to support expanded net metering opportunities in Ontario. These proposals follow the commitment in Ontario’s 2017 Long-Term Energy Plan (2017 LTEP) to give customers new ways to participate in renewable electricity generation. As we explained in a previous post, the 2017 LTEP sets out the government’s plan to enhance the net metering framework to allow different arrangements, such as third-party ownership of net-metered renewable generation facilities on a customer’s premises and “virtual net metering,” where a party could treat renewable generation in another location as offsets to the party’s own consumption.
The following are some of the key items that are now being proposed to support the net metering commitment from the 2017 LTEP.
- Amendments to the current Net Metering Regulation under the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 to enable third-party ownership of net-metered renewable generation facilities and provide flexibility for LDCs to enable virtual net metering demonstration projects (see here).
- Amendments to the General Regulation under the Energy Consumer Protection Act, 2010 to support the introduction of third-party ownership arrangements under Ontario’s net metering framework, and to adapt and enhance the existing consumer protection framework to cover a new type of energy retailer activity related to third party owners participating in net metering (see here).
- A new regulation under the Electricity Act, 1998 to ensure that non-rooftop solar and wind renewable energy facilities eligible for net metering will be sited appropriately in relation to residential areas and prime agricultural land (see here).
- The Ministry of Energy is further considering how unit sub-meter providers could be involved in the third-party ownership net metering activities being contemplated and in virtual net metering demonstration projects. The Ministry is also considering the same issue for consumers in bulk-metered buildings where the units are individually metered by a licensed distributor rather than a unit sub-meter provider.
The proposals noted above are open for comment until January 12, 2018. Presumably, the new and amended regulations will be published thereafter.