Bill would expand remote net metering to include micro-hydroelectric

Betty Little

April 19, 2012

The State Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Senator Betty Little that would extend remote net metering benefits to include micro-hydroelectric generation.

Remote net metering is currently allowed for wind, solar and digester technologies used by non-residential customers, including farms.

The bill (S.6670) would allow farm operations, customers with land in agricultural production, or non-residential customers to apply credit received for power delivered to the grid to any of the customer's meters rather than only to a single, directly connected meter as long as the meters are located on the customer’s property within the same utility territory.

“Essentially this ensures parity by bringing micro-hydroelectric net metering in line with what is allowed for wind, solar and waste energy generation,” said Little. “It is an easy way to encourage clean energy investment, providing an economic boost and environmental benefit.”

"Farmers across New York State are leading the nation in terms of utilizing renewable energy generation to lower their utility bills," said Dean Norton, President of New York Farm Bureau. "Today the State Senate voted overwhelmingly to allow our members who use micro-hydroelectric generating equipment to have access to remote net metering. This provides us with another important tool to fight the high cost of electricity. At a time when farmers face many challenges, it is nice to see that we also have strong advocates in government like Senator Little, who sponsored this bill. On behalf of our farm families, I thank Senator Little for her leadership and friendship."

“In recent years our state has made excellent progress in expanding and improving its net metering laws so that increasing numbers of New Yorkers can fully take advantage of their on-site renewable energy resources," said Carol E. Murphy, Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY). "Establishing remote net metering for micro-hydro is an important complement to these efforts, and we commend Senator Little and the Legislature for their support. We are already aware of at least two North Country colleges and universities with hydro resources that will be able to benefit from remote net metering, and we are looking forward to having them and others enjoy the economic and environmental benefits of producing clean energy."

A companion bill is sponsored by Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi.