Block Island Times

Utility District’s new net-metering policy explained

In 2019, the Block Island Utility District (BIUD) reached the state-mandated three-percent cap on net metered projects and was forced to shut down the net metering program. Reaching the cap was accelerated by the creation of the Block Island Solar Initiative. They installed more than 20 systems on rooftops in one summer and used up the remaining capacity quickly. It is a phenomenal effort that has helped put Block Island on the solar map, but caught the utility off-guard.In 2020, BIUD submitted legislation to amend the net metering statute to allow Block Island to set its own cap. Covid caused all forward progress to stop, but in 2021 BIUD was successful in lobbying the General Assembly and the net metering statute was amended. BIUD is now allowed to set its own cap. While this was happening, the Board of Commissioners worked hard on a new net metering tariff that was recentlyapproved by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission. It went into effect on April 1, 2022.Some facts pertaining to the new tariffs:- The cap has been raised from three percent of the Block Island Power Company’s peak load, to 10 percent – an increase of more than three

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