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NEWBERRY ‒ The City of Newberry has approved changes to how it credits customers who generate some or all of their own electricity. Commissioners unanimously approved Ordinance 2020-19 on first reading, which would allow for interconnection and net metering of customer-owned generation equipment. This is a replacement ordinance designed to repeal the previous ordinance approved earlier this year and replace it with new language.

Earlier in 2020, staff presented the City’s (electric) net metering policy to the City Commission and highlighted an issued raised by net-metering customers. “The issue related to the City’s existing ordinance and tariff, and how the City credited customers with energy produced from customer-owned renewable generating systems,” said City Manager Mike New.

For a period of time after the City adopted its net metering ordinance, its billing practices were inconsistent with the adopted ordinance and tariff. “Staff discovered the inconsistency and cured it,” New said. “The cure resulted in a reduction of the monthly credit provided to net metering customers.”

The City Commission directed staff to amend the ordinance to provide net-metering system owners connected to the City’s electric system prior to Jan. 1, 2020, to receive full retail credit for energy produced by the customer’s renewable generating system. These customers are to receive the retail energy credit for 20 years from date of installation or until the property sells. Customers connecting renewable generating systems after Jan. 1, 2020, will be credited for excess energy at the City’s “avoided cost” rates.

Staff prepared a new ordinance related to customer-owned renewable generating system, which is Ordinance 2020-19.

“This will make those 10 or 11 customers very happy,” said Mayor Jordan Marlowe following Commission approval.

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