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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Net Metering   

Last DSIRE Review: 11/18/2014
Program Overview:
State: Ohio
Incentive Type: Net Metering
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Fuel Cells, Small Hydroelectric, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels, Microturbines
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential
Applicable Utilities:Investor-owned utilities
System Capacity Limit:No capacity limit specified, but system must be sized primarily to offset part or all of customer's electricity requirements
Aggregate Capacity Limit:No limit specified
Net Excess Generation:Credited to customer's next bill at unbundled generation rate; customer may request payment for excess at end of 12-month billing period
REC Ownership:Not addressed
Meter Aggregation:Not addressed
Web Site:
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
ORC 4928.67
10/5/1999 (subsequently amended)
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
OAC 4901:1-10-28
09/18/2000 (subsequently amended)
Authority 3:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
OAC 4901:1-21-13
09/18/2000 (subsequently amended)
Authority 4:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
Finding and Order Docket 06-0653-EL-ORD

Note: In July 2012, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) opened a docket (Case 12-0250-EL-RDR) to review the net metering rules for investor-owned utilities. On January 15, 2014 the PUCO filed to change the administrative code that governs net metering rules to, among other changes, raise the cap for residential systems to 25 kW. The rule has yet to be approved by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR). The most recent JCARR action is available here.

Ohio's net-metering law requires electric distribution utilities to offer net metering to customers who generate electricity using wind energy, solar energy, biomass, landfill gas, hydropower, fuel cells or microturbines. Although there is no stated capacity limit on an individual net-metered energy system in Ohio, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has ruled that "an implied limitation" is in effect because, by statute, a net-metered system must be "intended to offset part or all of the customer-generator's electricity requirements." Net-metered customers are required to use a single meter capable of recording flow of electricity in each direction. Net-metered customers may request refunds of net excess generation (NEG) credits accumulated over a 12-month period.

The electric distribution utilities and competitive retail electric service providers are required to develop a separate net metering tariff for hospital facilities. Qualifying hospital customer generators are not limited to the same energy generation technologies or system size restrictions described above for non-hospital net-metered customers. Two meters or a single meter with two registers capable of separately measuring flow of electricity in both directions are required for hospital net metering. All electricity generated by the hospital (including that generation used directly by the hospital and that which is sent back to the utility) will be credited at the market value at the time of generation. Electricity flowing from the utility and used by the hospital will be charged at the same rates as normal, as if the hospital were not net metering. The monthly bill will calculate the net of this total hospital customer generation vs. utility provided electricity to determine the bill. Any net credit dollar amount will be used against the hospital’s bill until the hospital requests a refund for any accumulated credits over a 12-month period.

Net-metered systems must meet safety standards specified by the National Electrical Code (NEC), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Utilities may not require customer-generators to comply with additional safety and performance standards.

Ohio’s original net-metering law was enacted in 1999 as part of the state’s electric-industry restructuring legislation. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) later revised its net metering rules in March 2007, prompted by the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005). Initially, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) required utilities to credit customer net excess generation (NEG) at the utility's full retail rate. However, in June 2002, the Ohio Supreme Court decided that this exchange was illegal (Case No. 01-0573) and ruled that each utility must credit NEG to the customer at the utility's unbundled generation rate. Legislation enacted in May 2008 (S.B. 221) further amended Ohio's net metering law by: (1) removing the 1% aggregate capacity limit for all customer-generators; and (2) removing all limitations related to energy generation technology and system size on systems sited at hospitals.

  Anne Goodge
Ohio Public Utilities Commission
180 East Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215-3793
Phone: (614) 644-7857
Web Site:
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.