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Rhode Island

Rhode Island

Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Net Metering   

Last DSIRE Review: 08/21/2014
Program Overview:
State: Rhode Island
Incentive Type: Net Metering
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Geothermal Electric, Anaerobic Digestion, Small Hydroelectric, Ocean Thermal, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government, Fed. Government, Multi-Family Residential, Agricultural, Institutional
Applicable Utilities:Investor-owned utilities
System Capacity Limit:5 MW (systems must be "reasonably designed" to generate only up to 100% of annual electricity consumption)
Aggregate Capacity Limit:3% of peak load for Block Island Power Company and Pascoag Utility District
Other Utilities: Not specified.
Net Excess Generation:Credited at avoided cost; rolled over to next bill or purchased by utility
REC Ownership:Not addressed
Meter Aggregation:Allowed
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
R.I. Gen. Laws ยง 39-26.4
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
Expiration Date:
H.B. 7727

Note: As of June 2014, H.B. 7727 eliminated the reserved net metering requirement for 2 MW for projects less than 50 kW and removed aggregate capacity limit of 3% of peak load for all utilties except for Block Island Power Company and Pascoag Utility District.

Rhode Island allows net metering for systems up to five megawatts (MW) in capacity that are designed to generate up to 100% of the electricity that a home or other facility uses. Systems that generate electricity using solar energy, wind energy, ocean-thermal energy, geothermal energy, small hydropower, biogas from anaerobic digestion, or fuel cells using any of these energy sources are eligible. All customers of electric distribution companies are eligible. The aggregate amount of net-metered systems in Block Island Power Company and Pascoag Utliity District is capped at 3% of the peak load for each utility district.

A system generally must be owned by the customer of record and sited on the customer's premises (in the same geographic location). However, facilities (1) owned by municipalities or multi-municipal collaboratives or (2) owned and operated by a developer on behalf of a municipality or multi-municipal collaborative through a "municipal net metering financing arrangement"* are also eligible. Meter aggregation is generally allowed, and special provisions exist to accommodate meter aggregation for farm-based systems that serve facilities in close proximity to each other.

The rate credited for kilowatt-hours (kWh) generated that do not exceed the customer's kWh consumption for that billing period is equal to the utility's retail rate (minus a very small conservation charge per kWh). Any excess kWh that do not exceed 125% of the customer's kWh consumption for that billing period are credited at the utility's avoided cost rate. Excess credit may be carried forward to the next bill or purchased by the utility (at its discretion). To facilitate the administration of billing, utilities may estimate a net-metered customer's generation and consumption over a 12-month period.

Otherwise, the rates (including customer charges and demand charges) that apply to a net-metered customer must be the same rates that would apply if the same customer were not net metering. Utilities may not impose any other charges on net-metered customers. Net-metered customers are exempt from back-up or standby rates commensurate with the size of the net-metered system. Utilities my recover through rates any revenue shortfall caused by this exemption.

* A "municipal net metering financing arrangement" is defined as an arrangement between a municipality or multi-municipal collaborative and a private entity to facilitate the financing and operation of a net-metered system. Such systems are owned and operated by the private entity and must be located on property owned or controlled by the municipality or one of the municipalities.

  Consumer Information
Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission
89 Jefferson Boulevard
Warwick, RI 02888
Phone: (401) 941-4500
Fax: (401) 277-6805
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 2013 - 2014 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.