NOTE: On December 2016, the Public Service Commission adopted changes to the net metering rules as proposed by the Commission Staff on April 2015. The modifications i) clarifies definition of excess net metered energy (excess generation), ii) provides for transferability of interconnection agreements, and iii) require utilities to continue accepting net metering applications after reaching net metering cap, but to compensate the excess generation at the utility's avoided cost.
On December 2015, the LA Public Service Commission initiated a rulemaking proceeding (Docket R-33929) to i) modify Commission's current net metering rule once the utility reaches the net metering cap, and to ii) examine appropriate changes to solar policies in LA. More information is available on the docket linked above.
Louisiana enacted legislation in June 2003 establishing net metering.
Eligibility and Availability
Modeled on Arkansas’s law, Louisiana's law requires investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities and electric cooperatives to offer net metering to customers that generate electricity using solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal or biomass resources. Fuel cells and microturbines that generate electricity entirely derived from renewable resources are also eligible.
Per state law, net metering is available for residential systems up to 25 kilowatts (kW) in capacity, and commercial and agricultural systems up to 300 kW that are located in the state. Systems larger than 300kW will be considered by the Public Service Commission on an individual basis.
By the end of each calendar year, utilities must file with the PSC a report listing all existing net-metered systems and their capacities, and, where applicable, the inverter rating for each facility. The ownership of renewable-energy credits (RECs) associated with net metering has not been addressed.
The total net metering is capped at 0.5% of the monthly jurisdictional retail peak load for each utility. When this cap is reached, the utility will continue net meter additional systems, but the net excess generation from these systems will be treated differently. As of December 2015, two largest electric utilities in the state- Entergy and SWEPCO- have both reached their net metering cap.
Utilities must provide customer-generators with a meter capable of measuring the flow of electricity in both directions. Utilities must pay for the cost of the meter itself, but customer-generators must pay a one-time charge to cover the installation cost of the meter. Customers are responsible for all interconnection costs.
Net Excess Generation
Net excess generation (NEG) is defined as the kilowatt-hours (kWh) exported to the utility by a net metered system which exceeds the total kWh supplied by the electric utility during the same billing period. The NEG is treated differently based on when the net metered system was interconnected.
Systems that were interconnected before the utility reaches its jurisdictional net metering cap will have their NEG credited to the customer's next billing period indefinitely. For the final month in which the customer takes service from the utility, the utility will pay the customer for the balance of any credit at the utility's avoided-cost rate.Systems that were interconnected after the utility reaches its jurisdictional net metering cap will still be allowed to interconnect but their net excess generation will be credited at the utility's avoided cost rate.
* The PSC regulates investor-owned utilities and electric cooperatives in Louisiana; it does not regulate municipal-owned utilities, and its rules thereby do not apply to municipal utilities. Municipal utilities must develop their own programs based on the statute.