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Massachusetts Net-Metering Rules

Date Last Updated6/9/2014
Policy TypeNet-Metering Policy
State/FederalMA
Policy Administrator/Contact OfficeMassachusetts Department of Public Utilities
Policy Initiation Date1/1/1982
Policy SummaryMassachusetts's initial net-metering rules were created in 1982 by the state's Department of Public Utilities (DPU). These rules have been modified several times and in August 2009, the DPU issued its model net-metering tariff so that customers in Massachusetts are subject to the same net-metering tariffs regardless of utility. The state's investor-owned utilities must offer net-metering.

Typically any type of generating facility up to 60 kW can qualify for net-metering. A generating facility that uses wind, solar, anaerobic digestion, or renewable energy at a farm may be up to 2 MW, and public facilities can be even larger (up to 10 MW) and still qualify for net-metering.

Municipal utilities are not obligated to offer net-metering, but they may do so voluntarily. The aggregate capacity of net-metering is limited to 3% of each utility's peak load for private entities, and 3% of peak load for municipalities or government entities.

There are three categories of net-metering facilities that apply to CHP:
  • Class I: applies to systems up to 60 kW.
  • Class II: applies to systems >60 kW and up to 1 MW.
  • Class III: applies to systems >1 MW and up to 2 MW.
Massachusetts also allows neighborhood net-metering for neighborhood-based Class I, II or III facilities that are owned by (or serve the energy needs of) a group of 10 or more residential customers in a single neighborhood and served by a single utility. The neighborhood facility may also serve additional customers (including commercial) as long as the base requirements are met. All net-metered facilities must be behind a customer's meter, but only a minimal amount of load located on-site is required.

The treatment of customer net excess generation (NEG) varies by facility class and customer type. In all cases, the NEG is monetized and "Net-Metering Credits" are calculated based on the excess kWh produced. Class II and Class III customers are required to install revenue-grade meters to measure kWh output. Credits may be carried forward to the next month indefinitely, and credits from net-metering facilities may be transferred to another customer of the same utility as long as they are within the same service territory and ISO-NE load zone.
CHP Eligibility RequirementsRenewably-fueled CHP systems are eligible to net-meter.
Eligible Project Size (MW)All systems except public facilities up to 2 MW are eligible to net-meter. Public facilities can be larger (up to 10 MW).
Minimum Efficiency Required/
Other Performance Requirements
Does Not Specify
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