Net Energy Billing FAQs
1. Why is everyone talking about solar in Maine? What changed?
LD 1711 was signed into law in June 2019, providing updates and significant improvements for commercial/institutional solar development in Maine including increasing the maximum system size, removing any limit on the number of meters or accounts that can be associated with an eligible solar project, and adopting “commercial and institutional” Net Energy Billing (NEB) credits.
2. What are Net Energy Billing (NEB) credits?
Net Energy Billing credits are monetary credits associated with solar generation that are applied on your monthly electric bills to reduce the bills’ overall costs.
3. How does the program work?
A customer signs a contract to purchase credits with a company developing a solar project. The solar development company gets enough customers to fill up their solar array, and the solar array gets built. Electricity produced by the solar array generates monetary credits where one kWh of electricity equals one monetary credit. The monetary credit appears on the customers utility electric bill at which point the owner of the solar array will send a separate invoice to the customer for part of the value of the monetary credits.
4. How is the value of the Net Energy Billing (NEB) credit derived?
The Net Energy Billing (NEB) credit program is regulated by the Maine Public Utilities Commission. The value of credits is recalculated every year by looking at the previous year’s supply and delivery portions of typical commercial electric costs. Accordingly, the price of future Net Energy Billing (NEB) credits will follow the fluctuation of the Maine energy market for 20 years.
5. How long does the program last for?
Each solar project participating in the program is guaranteed by law to generate Net Energy Billing (NEB) credits for 20-years after the project is turned on.
6. What if my organization has more than one meter?
There is now no limit to the number of electric accounts/meters that can be associated with a solar project provided the customer and the solar project are connected to the electric grid operated by the same utility. I.e. CMP customers can only receive credits from solar projects connected to the CMP owned grid. The same applies for Versant Bangor-Hydro and Maine Public customer and solar projects. Determination of your aggregated annual electrical costs will determine the amount of Net Energy Billing (NEB) credits to purchase.
7. Will we require a financial review?
Like any long-term financial agreement, a standard credit review applies.
8. What are the legal documents required to participate in the program?
Every customer must sign a 20-year contract with the solar array owner to subscribe to part of the solar array generation.
- Contract must be assigned to interconnected and operational solar site.
- Contract will stipulate percentage of annual production to be assigned for Net Energy Billing (NEB) credit purchase.
9. Who will support our long-term partnership?
ReVision Energy is both the developer and installation company for our solar projects, and we are committed to providing long term support for our customers. We have developed and built solar energy systems in Maine since 2003, and we plan to be here for the next 20 years.
10. I’m interested in taking advantage of Net Energy Billing Credits. What are the next steps?
Please see the document titled “Next Steps.“