Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee Meeting Jan. 15 - news.mt.gov

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Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee Meeting Jan. 15

Friday, December 18, 2015/Categories: Legislative Branch/Tags: Energy & Telecommunications Interim Committee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 18, 2015
From: Sonja Nowakowski, Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee

Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee Meeting Jan. 15

HELENA - At a Jan. 15 meeting, the Energy and Telecommunications Interim Committee of the Legislature will dig into its net metering assignment with a discussion of compensation policies for net-metered customers and a review of the economic impacts of net metering.

The meeting starts at 8 a.m. in Room 172 of the Capitol. Senate Joint Resolution No. 12 requests the ETIC conduct "a review of the methodologies for valuing power including power produced by the net metering facility and transferred to the utility and power produced by the utility and sold to the person net metering."         

Questionnaires provided by the ETIC to net metering stakeholders in June asked about costs and benefits and the compensation policy. There is general agreement among stakeholders that the owners and operators of net metering facilities should provide reasonable, cost-based compensation for the utility services they use, while also being fairly compensated for the services they provide. However, the renewable energy industry and the utilities are far apart on the calculations of net benefits and costs flowing between the utility, its net-metered customers, and its non-net-metered customers.

ETIC members in January will have an opportunity to review the questionnaires and responses, as well as to ask stakeholders follow-up questions. The ETIC also may begin to formulate a baseline for findings and recommendations on net metering.

SJ 12 also requires the ETIC to examine economic development impacts of net metering systems by reviewing revenue generated by businesses that sell and install net metered systems in Montana, analyzing employment statistics for businesses that sell and install net metered systems in Montana, and reviewing tax revenue generated by net metering systems, including the increased taxable value of residential and commercial properties with net metered systems.

The ETIC, as guided by House Joint Resolution No. 7, began its review of next-generation 9-1-1 (NG911) in September. At that meeting, legislators said they would like stakeholders to work together on NG911 and to provide the ETIC with recommendations on planning for and implementing NG911. Since September, 9-1-1 stakeholders have met monthly to discuss NG911. They, along with an advisory council formed by the Governor, will provide the ETIC with an update in January.

The ETIC also will review Colstrip-related legislation that is expected to be introduced in the Washington Legislature in January. The legislation is aimed at reducing Puget Sound Energy's use of coal-fired generation from Colstrip. The ETIC may provide comments.

For more information on the committee’s activities and upcoming meeting, visit the committee’s website or contact Sonja Nowakowski, committee staff.

Committee Website:  www.leg.mt.gov/etic

Committee Staff:  snowakowski@mt.gov or 406-444-3078

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