Frequently Asked Questions
Why did the PUC close NEM?
The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approved these new rooftop PV programs to support the continued growth of rooftop PV and ensure safe, reliable service and fair treatment for all customers. The decision is the result of the PUC's effort to develop long-term technical and policy solutions that will support the continued growth of rooftop PV in Hawaii.
The PUC also directed that these new options will replace the NEM program. Customers with a current NEM agreement and those with valid pending applications hand delivered or postmarked on or before October 13, 2015 will continue under the NEM program
Can I still apply for Net Energy Metering (NEM)?
No. The PUC has declared that the NEM program is fully subscribed and closed to new customers on October 12, 2015. Customers with a current NEM agreement and those with valid pending NEM applications hand delivered or postmarked on or before October 13, 2015 will continue under the NEM program.
Any application that was hand delivered or postmarked after October 13, 2015 will need to be converted to another program.
How does a high DML potentially cause reliability problems?
Many distribution circuits have Distributed Energy Resource systems that generate more electricity than customers use, which can result in power flowing in reverse back into the grid. This can result in high voltage conditions that may damage a customer's home, your electronics or appliances, or even your neighbors' electrical equipment. In addition, the power produced by wind or PV systems fluctuates with changes in the wind, cloud cover, time of day, and weather conditions. These rapid fluctuations in power can damage utility equipment designed to regulate voltage levels on a circuit.
What is the difference between Customer Self-Supply (CSS) and Customer Grid-Supply (CGS)?
CSS is intended only for solar PV installations that are designed to not export any electricity to the grid. Customers are not compensated for any export of energy.
CGS customers receive a PUC-approved credit for electricity sent to the grid and are billed at the retail rate for electricity they use from the grid.
Is one program better than another?
The programs are designed to provide options for different kinds of customers. Therefore, one program is not necessarily better than another; it simply depends on what suits your particular situation. Please consult our website to help you choose the best program to fit your needs.
Is there a cost to apply for either CGS or CSS?
No, there are no application or processing fees.
Will I be taxed on the credits I receive for the energy that I produce?
This is a question that your tax advisor should answer for you. Each customer's circumstances may be different and it is not appropriate for the company to render tax advice.
However, it should be noted that the CGS program provides customers credits for excess energy produced by their PV systems in the same manner as the legacy NEM program.
The CSS and SIA programs do not provide credit for exported electricity.
Schedule Q is the only Distributed Energy Resource program that pays money at a fixed tariff based on avoided cost (avoided cost is currently updated monthly. For example, the rate is 11.69 cents/kilowatt-hour for 9/2015) for electricity sent to the grid.
Customers are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax advisor or legal counsel since the facts and circumstances for the various programs differ and could affect taxability.
Can I switch between CSS and CGS?
No. It is important that the selection of the appropriate program is made at the beginning of the process. If an Applicant desires to switch programs after the application has been approved, the Applicant will need to re-apply to the appropriate program and establish a new position in the Distributed Energy Resource Queue.
What is the Distributed Energy Resource queue?
First Come, First Served
The Hawaiian Electric Companies' Distributed Energy Resource programs are available to all customers on a first come, first served basis.
The Distributed Energy Resource Queue
The Distributed Energy Resource Queue reserves capacity for your Distributed Energy Resource system on the circuit that serves your location. Placement in the queue occurs once your submitted application has passed the initial completeness review.
Your Project Completion Time Frame
After your application has been Conditionally Approved, to be fair to other customers who may be waiting to apply on circuits that already have a high amount of installed distributed generation, the Hawaiian Electric Companies' policy is that you must finish your project within an 12-month time frame for systems under 10 kW and 18-month time frame for systems >10kW. The time frame for completion begins from the date of your Conditional Approval. A one-time extension of 180 days may be requested in writing, but this must be sent during the last two months before your designated time frame expires. If you exceed all deadlines, your application will be cancelled and your reserved circuit capacity forfeited. You would then need to reapply and start at the beginning of the process.
*Please be aware that the application processes, including the queuing process, are subject to change without notice
What if I already submitted an application and want to add capacity or change parts of my Distributed Energy Resource system?
When the PUC created the CGS and CSS programs, it determined that if an existing NEM customer adds more capacity to their PV system, they would need to transition to another program, such as CGS, CSS, or SIA.