For Immediate Release
August 27, 2015
ST. JOHN’S, NL – The Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA) is encouraged by the provincial government’s announcement of a new net metering policy framework.
Net metering will allow customers to use small-scale renewable energy sources to feed power into the distribution system during periods when they generate excess power – and draw power from the grid when their generation does not fully meet their needs.
“This is an important energy policy for a number of reasons,” said Ted Lomond, Executive Director of NEIA. “Net metering allows businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador to provide their green energy solutions locally; removes barriers to competitiveness for companies in comparison to those in other jurisdictions; and supports local firms in testing and marketing their products and services internationally where small scale green energy compatibility is expected of them.”
“We are particularly pleased that the framework includes municipalities as potential customers of the program,” said Lomond. “There is going to be an enormous opportunity for municipalities to decrease the operating costs of their recreation complexes, community centres, maintenance facilities, etc.”
Lomond says, however, that NEIA members are wary that the program is still a long way from reality. “The government first committed to net metering in 2007,” he said. “Businesses have been waiting a long time for this announcement. Unfortunately the announced framework on July 28, 2015 does not mandate timelines for Newfoundland Power or NL Hydro to develop and implement their programs.” The framework also does not mandate a timeline for the Public Utilities Board (PUB) to review and approve the respective programs.
“This is a policy that has already been implemented in almost every other jurisdiction in North America, so there is considerable precedent for all parties to draw upon in making decisions,” said Lomond.
Lomond notes that NEIA is cautiously optimistic the process will be finalized in a short timeframe. “We encourage the government, Newfoundland Power, NL Hydro, and the PUB to keep industry and the public informed on the road to implementation.” Lomond says that until that time, NEIA will continue to advocate for its introduction.
NEIA is a not-for-profit association of businesses that promotes the growth and development of the green economy in Newfoundland and Labrador. NEIA has over 190 members. More information on NEIA can be found at www.neia.org.