LPSC Selects Independent Advisor for Proposed Net Metering Changes

2/23/18 –At the LPSC Business and Executive (B&E) Session held Wednesday February, 21, the Commission approved hiring of an outside consultant on its Solar Net Metering Docket # R-33929, (the ‘Review of Policies Related to Customer-Owned Solar Generation and Possible Modification of the Commission’s Current Net Metering Rules’).

The vote was a result of the LPSC’s considering of a rule change that would significantly affect net metering in the state. Specifically, proposed changes would eliminate a statewide standard for net metering, which customers rely on to guide decisions about solar installations. Furthermore, proposed rules would reduce the rate that solar owners receive for energy production, even for existing solar owners under the previous rules. Proposed rules would also have allowed for additional fees and charges on solar owners, creating a confusing patchwork of policy and difficulty for consumers, businesses, and commission alike. 

The proposal to hire an outside consultant was led by Commissioner Craig Greene, and approved unanimously by the commission. Paul Zimmering of the Baton Rouge firm Stone Pigman was selected as advisor for the commission for the NEM docket. Zimmering has over a decade of experience working with the LPSC in utility policy, and is familiar to commission, utilities, and clean-energy advocates alike. Zimmering is an adjunct professor of law at Tulane University, and currently working with LPSC on an Entergy proposed extension and modification of its formula rate plan.

GSREIA commends the decision of the LPSC to hire an objective advisor for this crucial regulatory matter. A specific timeframe was not established for review of state NEM policy, but 60-90 days was speculated as an estimated initial response time.

GSREIA will provide further updates as information becomes available.  Please remember to thank your commissioner for their vote on this matter, and especially Commissioner Greene for his leadership!

Find and contact your commissioner here: LPSC Commissioners