New Jersey Proposes To Allow Opt-out Enrollments For Certain Community Solar Projects
Also Directs Development Of Options For Consolidated Billing For Community Solar
October 2, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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The New Jersey BPU has issued a proposed rule by which municipal-owned, 100% low- and moderate-income (LMI) community solar projects may submit an application for a project
that automatically enrolls customers and then allows them to "opt-out" from participating in the
project (Docket No. QX20090594)
Customers eligible to be enrolled on an opt-out basis by the municipality would be residential customers and affordable housing providers that are LMI customers as defined by the Pilot
These projects would be required to provide guaranteed savings to subscribers, so as to ensure that participants are not financially harmed by their automatic enrollment, the draft states. Enrollment in the automatic enrollment project may include a requirement for
subscribers to pay a monthly community solar subscription fee. However, for the life of the
automatic enrollment project, the monthly subscription fee may never exceed the value of
the community solar bill credit in each and every month provided on the subscriber's utility
bill pursuant to N.J.A.C. 14:8-9.7.
Under the proposal a customer could opt-out at any time.
Under the proposal, the automatic enrollment project shall be owned and operated by the local government for the duration of the project life, defined as no more than 20 years from the date of commercial operation of the project or the period until the project is decommissioned, whichever comes first. "Ownership and operation shall nonetheless permit
a period of temporary third-party, tax credit investor ownership in order to maximize the
financeability of the automatic enrollment project, subject to appropriate contractual
provisions that maintain the local government entity's ultimate control of the automatic
enrollment project," the proposal states
"Because affirmative consent of individuals is not possible for this method of subscriber enrollment, the Board proposes to exempt these projects from the provisions at N.J.A.C. 14:8-9.10(b)(1) mandating subscriber enrollment via affirmative consent," the proposal states
Projects not meeting the provisions listed above would not qualify for opt-out enrollment.
Separately, the BPU directed the EDCs to work with Staff to develop options to implement consolidated billing for community solar, and include considerations of what is currently done by other state affiliates. The EDCs shall present actionable recommendations for consolidated billing implementation in a report to the Board, no later than February 26, 2021. (Docket No. QO18060646)