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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Net Metering   

Last DSIRE Review: 08/05/2014
Program Overview:
State: Oregon
Incentive Type: Net Metering
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Geothermal Electric, Fuel Cells, Anaerobic Digestion, Small Hydroelectric, Tidal Energy, Wave Energy, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government, Fed. Government, Agricultural, Institutional
Applicable Utilities:All utilities (except Idaho Power)
System Capacity Limit:2 MW for non-residential & 25 kW for residential PGE and PacifiCorp customers; 25 kW for muni, co-op and PUD customers
Aggregate Capacity Limit:No limit specified for PGE and PacifiCorp; 0.5% of utility's historic single-hour peak load for munis, co-ops, PUDs
Net Excess Generation:Credited to customer's next bill at retail rate for IOU customers; varies for muni, co-op and PUD customers
REC Ownership:Customer owns RECs (unless Energy Trust subsidizes system)
Meter Aggregation:Allowed
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
OR Revised Statutes 757.300
9/1/1999; amended, 6/7/2005
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
Or. Admin. R. 860-039
Authority 3:
Date Effective:
Or. Admin. R. 860-022-0075
Authority 4:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
HB 4042

Oregon has established separate net-metering programs for the state's primary investor-owned utilities (PGE and PacifiCorp), and for its municipal utilities and electric cooperatives.

PGE and PacifiCorp Customers

The Oregon Public Utilities Commission (PUC) adopted new rules for net metering for PGE and PacifiCorp customers in July 2007, raising the individual system limit from 25 kilowatts (kW) to two megawatts (MW) for non-residential applications. (The rules do not apply to customers of Idaho Power, which provides net metering to Oregon customers pursuant to rules adopted by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.) The limit on individual residential systems is 25 kW. Systems that generate electricity using solar power, wind power, hydropower, fuel cells, biomass resources, geothermal energy, or marine energy (installed after 12/31/2014) are eligible. Net-metered systems must be intended primarily to offset part or all of a customer’s electricity requirements. Utilities may not limit the aggregate capacity of net-metered systems.

Net excess generation (NEG) is carried over to the customer's next bill as a kilowatt-hour credit for a 12-month period. Unless a utility and a customer otherwise agree, the annual billing cycle will conclude at the end of the March billing cycle of each year. Any NEG remaining at the end of a 12-month period will be credited at the utility's avoided-cost rate to customers enrolled in Oregon's low-income assistance programs. Customers retain ownership of all renewable-energy credits (RECs) associated with the generation of electricity.

The aggregation of meters for net metering is allowed. There is no limit on the number of net-metering facilities per customer, as long as the capacity of all net-metering facilities on a customer's contiguous property does not exceed the applicable capacity limit.  Meters that are on different rate schedules are able to be aggregated.

Customers of Municipal Utilities, Cooperatives and People's Utility Districts

Oregon's municipal utilities, electric cooperatives and people's utility districts must offer customers net metering pursuant to OR Revised Statutes 757.300. Systems that generate electricity using solar power, wind power, hydropower, fuel cells or biomass resources are eligible. Net-metered systems must be intended primarily to offset part or all of a customer’s requirements for electricity. The aggregate capacity of all net-metered systems is limited to 0.5% of a utility's historic single-hour peak load.

Net excess generation (NEG) is either purchased at the utility's avoided-cost rate or credited to the customer's next monthly bill as a kilowatt-hour credit. At the end of an annual period, any unused NEG credit is granted to the electric utility. This credit, in turn, is then either granted to customers enrolled in the utility's low-income assistance programs, credited to the generating customer, or dedicated to an "other use."

Net metering is achieved using a standard bi-directional meter. Utilities may not place any additional standards or requirements on customers beyond those requirements established by the National Electric Code (NEC), National Electrical Safety Code (NESC), Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). However, utilities may be authorized to assess a fee or charge if the utility's direct costs of interconnection and administration of net metering outweigh the distribution system, environmental and public-policy benefits of allocating costs among its customers.

In July of 2008, the PUC issued a ruling to clarify that third-party investors may participate in net metering, and that a third-party investor’s sale of electricity to a utility customer does not subject the investor to regulation by the commission.

  Maury Galbraith
Oregon Public Utility Commission
PO Box 2148
Salem, OR 97308-2148
Phone: (503) 378-8718
Fax: (503) 373-7752
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.