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Net Energy Metering, Zero Net Energy and The Distributed Energy Resource Future: Adapting For The 21st Century

On behalf of PG&E, RMI organized and facilitated a roundtable of experts to evaluate the potential implications for the utility and its customers of a future business environment characterized by high levels of customer energy efficiency, growing numbers of zero net energy buildings, and increased adoption of distributed generation (DG) by utility customers.

The political and policy environment surrounding distributed resources is highly charged, with strongly held beliefs and assumptions among different stakeholders about distributed generation benefits and impediments.

At the same time, there are myriad complexities in analyzing the costs and benefits to the utility system of installing distributed solar generation.

These costs and benefits will shift over time as markets evolve, penetration rates increase, and new technologies are deployed.

Establishing a common framework for understanding the implications of DG for the utility system, measuring impacts, and aligning rates and policies is a daunting but unavoidable task. The key questions addressed include:

  • How will increased penetration of distributed resources affect cost and value for the utility and its customers?
  • How could rate structures be modified to enable sustainable, fair, and efficient development of distributed resources?
  • How might the utility business model change?
  • What innovative energy services could be provided by the utility in conjunction with distributed resources and what is the value of these services to all customers?

The report summarizes key findings emerging from analysis done by RMI and PG&E in support of the expert roundtable, together with insights and recommendations that emerged from the roundtable discussion.

Read the Zero Net Energy 2.0 Blog | Brower Center March 6th, 2012 Presentation