2. How to Apply for Net-Metering Services with your Distribution Utility

Author: Anna M. Reodica, Senior Manager Utility Economics, MERALCO

2.A Filing of net-metering service application

The customer goes to his Distribution Utility (DU) to request to participate in the Net-Metering Program. Upon receipt of the request, the DU will provide the customer the following list of required documents:

  • Net-Metering Application Form
  • Identification Document
  • Detailed Planning Data
  • List of Certified Equipment
  • Plant Parameters Form

Once the requirements listed above are in order, the customer files the accomplished Net-Metering Application form with the supporting documents. The DU will then verify the accuracy and completeness of the documents. Within ten (10) business days upon receipt of the application, the DU will issue an acknowledgement receipt with feedback on whether or not the application is complete.

2.B Technical evaluation

With the submission of complete documentary requirements, the application proceeds to the technical evaluation phase. The DU will perform an initial assessment to determine if a Distribution Impact Study (DIS) will be needed, in accordance with the DSOAR, and inform the applicant accordingly. The DIS is performed to assess the ability of the Distribution system to safely and reliably accommodate a proposed interconnection of a generation source and if any upgrades may be required. If the conduct of DIS is deemed necessary, the DU informs the applicant and relays the following details on the DIS:

  • Scope of the Study
  • Estimated Time of DIS Completion
  • DIS Fee

Within thirty (30) days from receipt of the details on the DIS, the applicant informs the DU of his decision on whether or not to proceed with the DIS. If the applicant decides to continue with the DIS, the applicant settles the DIS fee with the DU. During the conduct of the DIS, additional information may be requested from the applicant. From receipt of complete information for the DIS, the DU has sixty (60) days to complete the study.

Within five (5) days from completion of the DIS, the DU forwards to the applicant the results of the study and the DU’s findings on whether a subsequent stage of a Distribution Assets Study (DAS) is necessary. The DAS determines all additional distribution assets and costs required to accommodate the proposed generation source of the Net-Metering customer.

If the conduct of a DAS is necessary, the DU issues an offer of DAS service to the applicant. Within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the DAS offer, the applicant informs the DU whether or not to proceed with the DAS. Upon acceptance of the DAS offer and payment of the DAS fee by the applicant, the DU has thirty (30) days to complete the study. Within five (5) days from completion of the DAS, the DU informs the applicant of the results of the study.

2.C Interconnection facilities and project agreement

With the conclusion of the technical evaluation phase, the DU finalizes the design of the interconnection facilities based on the results of the DIS and / or DAS, along with the corresponding project costs, if applicable. This stage includes an inspection of the Service Entrance depending on the meter set-up (2 uni-directional meter or single bi-directional meter). A Certificate of Final Electrical Inspection (CFEI), to be obtained from the city or municipality, may be required on a case-to-case basis.

After the completion of the plans for interconnection facilities, project agreements (e.g. Net-Metering Agreement, Fixed Asset Boundary Document) will be executed and the applicable fees will be paid. Construction of the interconnection facilities may then proceed.

2.D Energization

Once the construction is completed, the applicant’s installed facilities will undergo testing and commissioning to be witnessed by the DU. Commissioning will include inspection of the system components and functional tests to ensure compliance with the Net-Metering Interconnection Standards.

The flow chart on the following page illustrates the application process for net-metering.

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