When Pepco failed to respond to the issues raised by the Mt. Pleasant Solar Coop during the October 27, 2010 smart meter hearing, the DC Public Service Commission initiated an informal inquiry into Pepco’s net metering practices. MTP Solar has complained that their members are not getting proper Net meters, that there are still problems with billing, that the new smart meters are not two-way capable unless specially re-programmed, and that Pepco’s new variable pricing proposals do not explain how they will work for solar producers.
During the inquiry, Pepco conceded to the Commission that “some problems are not simply isolated instances.” Order No. 16073, Formal Case No. 945, In The Matter Of The Investigation Into Electric Service Market Competition And Regulatory Practices (Dec. 1, 2010) (“Order”) at P. 3. As a result, on December 1, 2010, the DC Public Service Commission issued an Order in Formal Case No. 945 directing Pepco to appear at a net metering status conference at the Commission on Monday, December 6, 2010 at 1:30 PM.
The Commission scheduled the status conference to “ascertain the full nature and extent of the problems Pepco is experiencing as well as Pepco’s plan for correcting them.” The Commission directed Pepco to be prepared to identify a number of particular statistics as well as Pepco’s determinations regarding the causes of the problems, its efforts to rectify the problem going forward, and its “plan to make whole those customers whose meters incorrectly recorded generation and usage information.” Moreover, the Commission took this opportunity to also address the new smart meters, which will have the capability to function as net meters. As such, the Commission also directed Pepco to be prepared to discuss its plans for installing new smart meters and the anticipated interruption customers will face, its plans for proper accounting of customers’ generation and usage information in the event of a delay during the transition, and its ability to provide smart meters to all new interconnection customers who are eligible to participate in net metering with new smart meters.
I will be at the hearing and report back later.