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Clean Energy

Net Energy Metering in Hawaii

 

 

Updates

March 2014:

Read about about Maui Electric's new solar integration policy changes.

February 2014:

Read about approved solutions to address Transient Overvoltage conditions on certain circuits.  To view a list of approved equipment that meets TOV specifications, please click here.

February 2014:

New Net Energy Metering agreement forms - On February 3, 2014, the PUC issued an order revising the NEM Tariff to clarify that a fully executed NEM Agreement is required prior to interconnection and operation of a generating facility in parallel with our electric system. Please use the new Appendix I and Appendix II forms immediately.

Energy storage systems - In addition, per the PUC’s order, any generating facilities that use an energy storage device must have the Company perform an interconnection review before interconnecting.

January 2014:

PV systems with battery backup must also get an initial review by the utility to ensure interconnection is done properly.  As a reminder, please read about our steps to help PV customers interconnect.

We Have a Responsibility to Protect Our Island Environment

If you are thinking about having a photovoltaic (PV) system installed on your roof, you may want to consider visiting our Locational Value Maps (LVM) for Maui County. The LVM is a tool that can give you a rough, preliminary idea about the PV circuit penetration in your area. Please note that the LVM circuit penetration levels change rapidly day by day, and that a completed NEM agreement with any additional required paperwork must first be submitted before your system can be placed in queue for review.  View Locational Value Maps.

Net Energy Metering (or NEM) is one way to lessen Hawaii’s dependence on imported oil by encouraging the greater use of eligible renewable energy sources like solar (photovoltaic), wind, biomass, or hydroelectric power for electrical generation by residential and commercial customers. Hawaiian Electric Company, Maui Electric Company, and Hawaii Electric Light Company support Net Energy Metering and recognize their roles to help Hawaii transition from fossil fuels to more renewable energy resources. Here is some general information that we hope will be helpful. For routinely updated information regarding circuit penetration and new Maui Electric procedures, please see our Important Updates section.

  1. What is net energy metering?
  2. What is the value of net energy metering?
  3. What types of generators are eligible?
  4. Does a solar water heating system qualify for net energy metering?
  5. Do I need a new meter and, if so, do I need to pay for it?
  6. What happens if I generate more electricity than I use from the utility?
  7. How do I check circuit availability?
  8. What is the potential interconnection application timeline for an NEM project?
  9. What are the requirements and how do I sign up?
  10. What are the requirements for execution of the NEM agreement?
  11. How do I use Maui Electric's New Forms A, A10, B, B10, and C?
  12. Why are these requirements necessary?
  13. How are requirements established for net energy metering?
  14. How do I read my net energy meter?
  15. How do I read my net energy metering bill?
  16. Why does my bill not match my inverter(s) output?
  17. How to get more information about systems that might qualify?

Contact NEM

Maui Electric Company:  871-8461 ext. 2445

Net Energy Metering Commonly Asked Questions

1.  What is net energy metering?

According to Hawaii state law (Hawaii Revised Statues (HRS) Section 269-101 - 269-111), all residential and commercial utility customers who own and operate an eligible renewable energy generation system up to a generating capacity of 100 kW and intend to connect to utility grid,  must register their systems with their utility by executing a NEM agreement.  The executed agreement allows the NEM customer to connect their renewable generator to the utility grid, allowing it to export surplus electricity into the grid, and to receive credits at full retail value which can be used to offset electricity purchases over a 12-month period.  

NEM customers are billed for net energy purchased, which is determined by subtracting the excess energy exported to the utility grid from the total energy supplied by the utility. Here is the formula: 

Energy Supplied by the utility (kWh)
-  Excess Energy exported to the utility (kWh)
= Net Energy Billed to the Customer (kWh)

2.  What is the value of NEM?

NEM allows you to offset all or part of your electricity purchases from the utility by energy produced by your eligible renewable generation system and export any excess electricity to the utility grid at the retail rate.

NEM gives value to the excess electricity you produce with your renewable generation system. Electricity generated by your renewable generator would first supply power for your own needs and any additional power you need would be purchased from the utility. When a NEM customer generates more electricity than what is consumed, excess energy produced can be exported back to the utility at full retail value which can be used to offset electricity purchases over a 12-month period.

This is in contrast to other non-NEM customers with renewable energy generation systems. If they have a power purchase agreement, they are compensated for power exported to the utility grid at a lower wholesale rate. Standard interconnection customers must consume all electricity that is self-generated, and not allow to export surplus energy to the grid nor be compensated. With NEM, you are in effect being given the retail credit for excess power which you generate.

3.  What types of generators are eligible?

Hawaii law specifies that NEM applies to solar, wind, biomass or hydroelectric generation facilities, or a hybrid system of two or more of these technologies, with a capacity up to 100 kW. (For more information about these technologies, visit the website of the State of Hawaii, Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, Strategic Industries Division, Energy Branch).

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC), by rule or order, can change the maximum allowable capacity.

4.  I am installing a solar water-heating system.  Does that qualify for net energy metering?

No. NEM applies only to systems that generate electricity. Solar electric systems, known as photovoltaic (PV), use solar cells to convert the sun’s light into electricity. By contrast, solar water-heating systems use heat from the sun directly to heat water for your use. Since solar water-heating systems do not produce electricity, they cannot feed into the grid and do not qualify for NEM.

5.  Do I need a new meter and, if so, do I need to pay for it?

New and existing NEM systems will require a new bi-directional meter capable of measuring the energy supplied by your utility and the excess electricity from your renewable energy generation system exported to the grid. The utility will provide the meter at no cost to you when the NEM agreement is executed.

6.  What happens to my electric bill if I generate more electricity than I use from the utility?

The NEM agreement allows the customer to carry over unused credits (excess net generation expressed as a monetary value) to future bills within a 12 month period, starting from when the agreement is executed. Any unused credits remaining at the end of each 12- month reconciliation period may not be carried over to the next 12-month period.

A required minimum charge is assessed in your monthly electric bill to cover fixed costs like reading your meter and billing.  This minimum charge is due and payable each month even if you generate more electricity than you use from the utility.

7.  How can I find out if there is space on my circuit for a renewable energy or distributed generation installation?

Links to maps showing highly penetrated circuits can be found here

To request a Circuit Penetration Inquiry in order to determine the available kilowatts available for potential distributed generation systems, email the following information to:   cpi@mauielectric.com

     •     Tax Map Key (TMK) number of property where the system is being proposed
     •     Address of property where the system is being proposed

Please send only one request per email and allow 3-5 business days for the results.  Information provided is based on data available on the date your response is sent, and is for general information purposes only.  If you wish to proceed, you must submit the documents below and receive written approval from Maui Electric that your application has been approved.

8.  What is the potential interconnection application timeline for an NEM project?

The following table illustrates the estimated timeline for the NEM process from beginning to end:

   

 

9.  How do I apply for NEM and what are the application requirements?

For all renewable energy systems, the utility will perform an interconnection review at no cost to the customer.

Pre-approval from Maui Electric Company is required for all projects.

For pre-approval of qualified renewable energy generation systems less than 10 kW:   

  • Complete Maui Electric's NEM <10kW Project Application Form A
  • Complete Appendix I  with customer information including the customer's name, address, electric account number, and contact information. The agreement must be signed by both the customer and the licensed contractor who will complete the work.  The make, model and number of renewable generator (PV modules, wind turbine, hydroelectric generator, or biomass generator) and inverter information must also be provided.
  • Module specification sheets from the equipment manufacturer. 
  • Inverter specification sheets from the equipment manufacturer. 
  • Submit Maui Electric's Inverter Setting Confirmation Form with appropriate signatures for project pre-approval for all systems.

For pre-approval of qualified renewable energy systems greater than 10 kW but not more than 100 kW:

  • Complete the Maui Electric NEM greater than 10 kW Project Application Form A10
  • Complete Exhibit A of Appendix II with customer information including the customer's name, address, electric account number, and contact information provided.  The agreement must be signed by the customer.  The insurance company used for insuring the system must be noted.  The make, model, and number of renewable generator (PV modules, wind turbine, hydroelectric generator, or biomass generator) and inverter information must also be provided.  Information about the installer must be complete. 
  • For systems greater than 10 kW and less than 30 kW, submit a single line drawing accurately illustrating how the system is to be interconnected to the utility along with the relay list, trip, and settings of the generating facility. 
  • For systems greater than 30 kW but not more than 100 kW, submit a three line drawing accurately illustrating how the system is to be interconnected to the utility with a licensed professional electrical engineer stamp along with the relay list, trip, and settings of the generating facility. 
  • Module specifications sheets from the equipment manufacturer. 
  • Inverter specification sheets from the equipment manufacturer. 
  • Submit Maui Electric's Inverter Setting Confirmation Form with appropriate signatures for project pre-approval for all systems. 

Mail completed Net Energy Metering forms for Maui, Molokai, and Lanai installations to:

Maui Electric Company
Attn:  Net Energy Metering
P.O. Box 398
Kahului, HI 96733-6898

 

10. What is needed to finalize and execute the Net Energy Metering Agreement?

  • The generating facility must pass the MECO inspection.  Please submit Form B or Form B10 to request an inspection.
  • All documentation must be submitted and in order according to the agreement type.
  • The generating facility must pass the County of Maui electrical permitting process.
  • The generating facility complies with the latest MECO Signage Requirements.

11.  How do I use Maui Electric's New Forms A, A10, B, B10, and C?

Update to Form A and Form A10

We ask for your diligence in accurately completing the updated Form A and A10 and submitting required documentation.  This will help to facilitate a timely application process.  To ensure accuracy, the updated forms must now be typed, so the forms are now provided in a fillable PDF format.

Other updates include:

  • The customer’s name must be the name listed as the Maui Electric account holder (the name that appears on the Maui Electric bill). 
  • An option to allow Maui Electric to proceed with the no cost supplemental review if required. This avoids the need to send in a request to proceed with this review.

Due to recent equipment safety concerns, we are also requiring that a photo of the meter box and surrounding equipment be submitted with the Form A and A10 application packet.  We also request you toggle the customer main service circuit breakers to ensure they work properly and will not require an upgrade as part of the PV installation. As communicated previously via email and to ensure the safety of our customers, pullout disconnect devices are no longer accepted and we ask you to specify the type of visible break disconnect you intend to install.  All signage must be installed per the Maui Electric Standards and Labeling Requirements guide emailed on June 21, 2013. 

Forms and applications will be returned if information is incomplete, conflicting, or unclear.

New Form Band Form B10

Forms B and B10 have been developed to communicate when the distributed generation system is ready for inspection by Maui Electric.   These forms and required documents can be submitted by mail or in person at the Maui Electric NEM drop box located in our Engineering Lobby.

To ensure a continued safe build out of distributed generation systems, installers must submit proof that the inverter(s) has been programmed to Maui Electric’s current standards.  An acceptable form of proof for the inverter programming verification is a detailed set point confirmation from the inverter manufacturer

Additionally, Maui Electric is requiring the submittal of the line diagram that was submitted to the County of Maui for permitting.  This will ensure that Maui Electric has the final version of the system drawing matching the County of Maui electrical permit.  All required documentation must be submitted for Maui Electric to proceed with generation system inspection and installation of NEM meter.  Incomplete or unclear forms will be returned.

New Form C

This new form should be attached to any documents submitted to Maui Electric not included in the original Form A/A10 or Form B/B10 package.  Form C is to be used as a cover letter for any miscellaneous documentation that Maui Electric has requested regarding NEM applications. If your application is incomplete in any way, Maui Electric may request additional information and documents.  Include Form C with any documents submitted to Maui Electric to ensure timely processing.  Please allow up to 15 business days for processing.

12.  Why are these requirements necessary?

If your renewable energy generation system mistakenly back-feeds power into an electric line that utility crews think is de-energized, the crews can be seriously injured or even killed. The interconnection study also helps assure the utility that you and other customers continue to receive reliable service and good power quality, avoiding potentially disruptive swings in voltage levels that could damage your equipment and that of the utilities.

Whether you are installing a new renewable energy generation system or considering NEM for an existing renewable energy generation system, compliance with all safety and other codes are required.

13.  How are requirements established for NEM?

The 2005 Legislature, by Act 104, gave the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission authority to set requirements and limits as well as safety, performance, and reliability standards for NEM by order, tariff, or rule.

14.  How do I read my net energy meter?

A link to a video showing customers how to read their net energy meter can be found here.

15.  How do I read my net energy metering bill?

A link to a pamphlet explaining how to read your net energy metering bill can be found here.

16.  Why does my bill not match my inverter(s) output?

Net Energy Metering is intended to offset part or all of a customer's electric consumption from the Utility.  During sunny days with low household consumption a customer's PV system may generate more electricity than used by the customer.  Under these conditions the excess will flow back through the Utility meter to the grid.  On other days a customer's PV system may not generate enough electricity to completely power the customer's load.  In this case some electricity will flow from the grid through the Utility meter to supply the remaining power for the customer.  Only the electricity flowing to and from the grid is measured by the Utility meter.  The Utility meter will not measure the electricity generated by the customer's PV system to the customer's load.  The Utility meter will only measure the excess electricity going back to the grid or the extra power supplied from the grid.  Therefore, the energy measured by the Utility meter will not match the energy measured by the PV inverters.  See PV system diagram below.

17.  How can I get more information about renewable energy systems that might qualify for NEM?

Here is a list of eligible inverters.

Here is a list of eligible PV modules.

Here is a list of approved equipment that meets TOV specifications.

Please call the utility for more information.

Check your circuit with our locational value maps:
Maui Electric

NEW!
Download our 
Guide to Going Solar and Understanding the Net Energy Metering Process


Download our 
Guide to 
Net Energy 
Metering