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Distributed Generation FAQ » Central Hudson » Distributed Generation » Distributed Generation FAQ

Popular Questions

Q: What is Net Metering?
Q: What is Remote Net Metering?
Q: How do I apply for a DG interconnection?
Q: Where can I learn about funding/loans/incentives?
Q: What size DG system should I install?
Q: Will I still lose power during a utility outage?
Q: When can I turn my system on?
Q: Will I still receive a bill from Central Hudson?
Q: How do I get credited for my excess generation?
Q: How do I apply for Remote Net Metering?
Q: Will I get a new meter?
Q: How can I tell if I am generating more electricity than I am using?
Q: How do I turn my system on?
Q: Why do I need a transformer upgrade?
Q: Is there a cost associated with submitting an interconnection application?

Topics

General
Billing
Meters
Technical
Interconnection Application

General

  • What is Distributed Generation?
  • Distributed Generation (DG) refers to power generation at the point of consumption, in other words, on-site generation. Solar, wind, micro-hydroelectric, biogas, micro CHP and fuel cell are some examples of DG technologies.

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  • Who do I contact for DG questions?
  • For billing and metering questions, please contact our Customer Service Department at (845) 452-2700, toll free at (800) 527-2714, or by email to PVmetering@cenhud.com.

    For technical and interconnection application questions, please contact our Electric Distribution Planning Department at (845) 486-5215 or by email to DG@cenhud.com.

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  • What is Net Metering?
  • Net metering is a method for those using qualified generating systems, such as photovoltaic (solar), wind and farm waste, to be credited for electricity generated in excess of their usage, and is achieved by allowing participating customers’ meters to measure electric flows in reverse and forward directions. When the customer’s generator is producing less energy than the customer is using, the electric meter will measure the supplemental energy passing from the utility to the customer and register the flow of electricity in a forward direction. When the customer’s generator is producing more energy than the customer is using, the electric meter will measure the excess energy passing from the customer to the utility and register the flow of electricity in a backward direction. The surplus energy is subtracted, or “netted,” from the energy supplied by the utility to the customer, thus “net metered.” Therefore, Central Hudson is only able to see the net difference between what was generated and what was consumed during a billing period.

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  • Am I eligible for Net Metering?
  • Net metering eligibility is determined by New York Public Service Law (PSL) §66-j and PSL §66-l. You may refer to the New York State Standardized Interconnection Requirements (NYSSIR) or ourwebsite for a net metering eligibility summary chart.

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  • What is Remote Net Metering?
  • Remote Net Metering permits customers to designate an account where a net metering eligible resource (solar, wind, farm waste) is located (“Host Account”) and then designates accounts where the customer would like to apply excess net metering credits (“Satellite Accounts”) from the Host Account. The customer may designate all or a portion of the excess net metering credits generated by the Host Account to be applied to Satellite Accounts. Remote net metering is offered to non-residential and farm accounts, and both the Host and Satellite accounts must be registered under the same ownership.

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  • Am I eligible for Remote Net Metering?
  • Please see Leaf 163.5.6 of our electric rate tariffs for eligibility or contact our Customer Service Department at (845) 452-2700, toll free at (800) 527-2714, or by email to PVmetering@cenhud.com. Please note that if you are applying for Remote Net Metering there is a separate application for billing approval, in addition to the interconnection application.

    Remote Net Metering Application

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  • How do I apply for a DG interconnection?
  • Contact the installation contractor of your choice. Most installers offer you the opportunity to sign an agent authorization letter and will submit the interconnection application on your behalf. For a list of application documents, please visit our website using this link. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) maintains a list of certified contractors and accredited companies which can be found here.

    • Please note that if you are applying for Remote Net Metering or Community DG, they require separate applications for interconnection and billing approvals.

    Remote Net Metering Application

    Community DG Allocation Request Form

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  • Where can I learn about funding/loans/incentives?
  • State and federal incentives exist for a variety of renewable energy sources. In addition, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers incentives to install grid-tied solar and wind generators. NYSERDA also offers loans and on-bill financing options. Please visit their website for more information: www.nyserda.ny.gov 

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  • Can Central Hudson install my DG system?
  • Central Hudson is not permitted to install customer-owned systems. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) maintains a list of certified contractors and accredited companies which can be found at: http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/Contractors/Find-a-Contractor

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  • Can I install my own DG system?
  • Please check with your local municipality as they may have specific requirements and/or restrictions. All installations must adhere to the National Electrical Code and have a third party electrical inspection. If you are not a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) certified contractor, you may not qualify for specific incentives/rebates, please contact NYSERDA for more information by phone at 518-862-1090 or 1-866-NYSERDA (Toll free) or email info@nyserda.ny.gov.

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  • Would it be beneficial for me to install DG?
  • Each property is unique, and a certified installer can explain how installing a renewable resource could benefit you.

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  • What size DG system should I install?
  • A certified installer can help you determine the system size best suited for your specific needs.

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  • Will I still lose power during a utility outage?
  • Yes, electric service will be interrupted during utility outages unless a battery back-up system or stand-by generator is also installed. For safety reasons, Distributed Generation systems are required to shut down and/or disconnect from the utility grid when an outage occurs to prevent electricity from back feeding into the lines to avoid injury to repair crews and the public.

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  • I received notification that I can move forward with my project’s construction. What’s next?
  • Central Hudson will commence any necessary upgrades, upon receipt of payment, if applicable. Your contractor will commence the construction of your project and notify Central Hudson upon completion so that your net meter installation can be scheduled. Prior to receiving a final interconnection approval letter from Central Hudson, your contractor will submit proof that an electrical inspection has been successfully performed and either schedule a witness verification test of your system or if the utility opts out of witnessing the test, they will submit the testing results for evaluation.

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  • When can I turn my system on?
  • Once Central Hudson receives notification that the DG system has been installed according to the utility accepted design and the equipment manufacturer’s requirements, and a successful verification test is performed, Central Hudson will install your net meter, set up your account for the DG program you are applying under, and send you notification of final interconnection approval. You will receive the final interconnection approval via email if an email address was provided with the application; otherwise your approval letter will be mailed. Please note that if you are applying for Remote Net Metering or Community DG, they require separate applications for interconnection and billing approvals.

    Remote Net Metering Application
    Community DG Allocation Request Form

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  • What are some other ways I can support green energy?
  • We welcome your interest, as it's important that we all help to preserve and protect our precious natural resources. In today’s deregulated energy market, individual customers have two options to support renewable energy, both of which are offered by independent companies: 1) you may purchase your energy supply through a service company that sells electricity generated with renewable fuels (such as wind, small hydro, biomass, solar, etc.) and/or 2) you may also purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Information on these options are available under the Green Power section.

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  • What does Central Hudson do to protect the environment?
  • Central Hudson values environmental protection. This detailed Sustainability Report contains detailed information about Central Hudson's steadfast efforts to minimize our environmental impact.

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  • What are the sources of energy for electric generation in New York?
  • The New York Independent System Operator oversees energy production and transmission in New York, and assigns power to utilities based on their needs, geographic location and grid conditions. Information on energy sources for electric generation in New York is available through the New York Public Service Commission, under Environmental Disclosure (for the latest information, click on the most recent dates). For more information on renewable energy, see our Green Power page.

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Billing

  • Will I still receive a bill from Central Hudson?
  • Yes, you will continue receiving bills under your current service classification for the following: your monthly service charge, any usage in excess to your generation, as well as demand charges if applicable. Please note PV systems are typically not capable of reducing demand charges on their own.

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  • Can I be on budget billing if I am net metered?
  • Yes. Your budget will be calculated using the past 12 month usage history. You may wish to wait a full year with net metering before enrolling in Budget Billing so that your generation will be apparent in your monthly average.

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  • How do I get credited for my excess generation?
  • Any excess generation produced by the system, net of electricity provided by the utility grid, is “deposited” into your generation bank. “Current Generation” and “YTD Generation” are displayed in the “What’s New” section located on the front of Central Hudson’s utility bill. These columns represent the excess generation. In cases when usage is completely offset by the generating system, usage will be billed 0, and there will be no volumetric delivery or supply charges.*

    • *All customers, with the exception of commercial demand customers, will receive a bill for their basic service charge, even with 0 usage.

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  • Can I apply excess generation toward future bills?
  • Yes, any excess generation (kWh) not used in a billing cycle will be carried over and applied towards your next billing cycle. Residential accounts will reconcile annually (See below, “What is an anniversary/reconciliation date?”). Non-residential accounts will continue rolling over any excess generation to the next billing cycle.

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  • What is an anniversary/reconciliation date?
  • Residential net metered accounts are provided with an anniversary date, defined in Central Hudson’s tariff as “the billing period that ends directly on or after twelve (12) months from the time the customer contracted.” Your anniversary date will be the date of the last meter read prior to your DG system’s final interconnection approval. (Example: Last meter reading was Dec 1, final approval was granted on Jan 2, and the next meter read should be Feb 2; the anniversary date would be the date of last meter reading which was Dec 1.) If at the time of anniversary, your account has excess generation from the preceding 12 month period, you will receive a payment. This payment is calculated according to Central Hudson’s tariff as follows: “The difference in the billing period that ends directly on or after twelve (12) months from the time the customer contracted for this service (“anniversary date “) represents net sales to the Company, the Company will pay the customer for this difference at the applicable rate under Service Classification No. 10.”

    • Under this method, any excess generation will be reimbursed at the rate determined by the Time Weighted Integrated Locational-Based Marginal Price (LBMP) pricing data supplied by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO). For more information please visit: http://www.nyiso.com/public/markets_operations
    • Residential net metered customer may make a one-time election to select an alternate anniversary date to be effective for all subsequent payments, as applicable. The anniversary date change form can be found on www.centralhudson.com/dg.
    • For additional information or questions, contact our Customer Service Department at (845) 452-2700, toll free at (800) 527-2714, or by email to PVmetering@cenhud.com.

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  • Can I change my anniversary/reconciliation date?
  • Yes, residential customers may make a one-time election to select an alternate anniversary date to be effective for all subsequent payments. The anniversary date change form can be found on www.centralhudson.com/dg.     

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  • How do you determine the residential anniversary payment rates?
  • Payment rates are determined by the monthly average of the daily time weighted integrated Location Based Marginal Pricing (LBMP) data reported by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), in the billing cycle preceding your anniversary date.     

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  • Can a net metering customer use a third-party Energy Service Company (ESCO) for energy supply?
  • Yes. ESCO rates will be used for net power supplied by the utility grid. If you are a residential net metered customer, using an ESCO will have no effect on your reconciliation payment rate.     

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  • Can a net metered customer enroll in the Time of Use (TOU) program?
  • Yes. TOU generation will be recorded as peak and/or off-peak and excess generation will be applied accordingly. TOU excess generation will be paid at the peak or off-peak payout rates under Service Classification Number 6. Please note peak generation is only applied to peak usage and off-peak generation is only applied to off-peak usage.

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  • How do I apply for Remote Net Metering?
  • Submit a complete and signed Remote Net Metering application to our Customer Service Department by emailing the application to PVmetering@cenhud.com (preferred method) or mail the completed application to the attention of Customer Service at: 284 South Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601. The application can be found here.     

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  • How is excess on-site production from the Host account applied to other accounts with remote net metering?
  • With remote net metering, there are two forms of crediting; monetary crediting and volumetric crediting. Monetary crediting will be applied if the host account is billed under demand rates or if the host account submitted a completed preliminary interconnection application to the Company or completed interconnection on the Company’s system by June 1, 2015.

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  • What is the difference between monetary and volumetric crediting?
  • With monetary crediting, the excess on-site production shall be converted to the equivalent monetary credit at the applicable energy delivery and energy supply per kWh rates of the host account’s service classification excluding taxes. This monetary credit is then applied to the host account and then to any other satellite accounts designated by the customer. Because a monetary credit is being applied, it is possible to offset all charges resulting in a zero bill.

    Ex: If a customer were to generate an excess of 1000 kWh in a monthly period at an applicable rate of 6 cents per kWh, the customer would receive a monetary credit of $60 to apply to their host and satellite accounts. If the total amount of their bills is less than $60, the customer would receive a $0 bill with the excess being carried forward to the next billing period. With volumetric crediting, any excess kWh production is applied to accounts on a kWh for kWh basis. Because only kWh usage is being offset on a bill, the basic service charge will not be offset.

    Ex: If a customer were to generate an excess of 1000 kWh in a billing period, and had a satellite account with 750 kWh of usage, the 750 kWh would be offset resulting in 0 kWh being billed and the excess 250 kWh being rolled over to the next billing period. Although the customer is being billed for 0 kWh, the basic service charge still applies; resulting in a bill only for the basic service charge amount.

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Meters

  • Will I get a new meter?
  • Yes, a new meter will be provided if you qualify for our net metering program. Central Hudson will install a digital net meter with an Encoder Receiver Transmitter (ERT). This device utilizes radio frequency technology to transmit readings to meter readers over a short range, and ensures accuracy. These meters operate in both forward and reverse directions to enable net metering.

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  • When will my net meter be installed?
  • Your net meter will be installed within ten (10) Business Days of either you or your contractor’s notification to Central Hudson that the installation has been completed or your request for a verification test, whichever is first received.

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  • Will I be charged for the installation of the net meter?
  • No, there is no customer cost associated with the installation of the net meter.

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  • How can I tell if I am generating more electricity than I am using?
  • If a customer is generating more electricity than is being used, the three squares in the lower right hand corner of the display on the meter will scroll from right to left. When these squares are scrolling from left to right, this indicates that a customer is using more electricity than is being generated.

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  • Can I opt out of having an Encoder Receiver Transmitter (ERT) net meter?
  • Yes, Central Hudson offers customers the choice to opt out of an ERT meter and have a digital, non-ERT meter installed instead. This option will require a physical reading by meter readers. If you wish to choose this option please review the criteria outlined in the contract found on our website using the link below. Return the signed contract to the attention of ‘Customer Services-ERT opt out’ prior to the completion of your solar installation. http://www.centralhudson.com/meters/ERTmeters.aspx

    If you request this option after the ERT net meter has been installed, an additional cost will apply. For questions regarding the ERT meter opt out, contact our Customer Service Department at (845) 452-2700, toll free at (800) 527-2714, or by email to PVmetering@cenhud.com.

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  • Will being a net metered customer change the frequency of my meter readings?
  • Meter readings and billing for residential and some small commercial customers enrolled in Central Hudson’s net metering program will take place every two months. Residential and small commercial customers who are currently billed every month will see a change in their billing cycle once enrolled in net metering. For non-residential customers, meter readings and billing will continue on a monthly basis.

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Technical

  • How do I turn my system on?
  • Once you are notified by Central Hudson that you have been granted final interconnection approval, please contact your installer for directions on how to turn on your specific system. Receiving this approval letter indicates that your installer has verified that your system has been successfully installed and tested, you have the appropriate meter installed and your account has been set up for the DG program you are applying under. You will receive the final interconnection approval via email if an email address was provided with the application; otherwise your approval letter will be mailed.

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  • Does my DG system need to be inspected?
  • Yes, it is your responsibility to obtain all necessary permits and electrical inspections, as well as ensure that the system passes an interconnection functional test before Central Hudson allows interconnection.

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  • Does Central Hudson perform electrical inspections?
  • Central Hudson does not perform electrical inspections but does maintain a list of electrical inspectors who have been approved to perform a complete inspection to verify that any electrical work performed on an industrial, commercial or residential service has been done in compliance with the National Electric Code. A link to the Approved Electrical Inspector list can be found under the Working with Us page of our website.

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  • What is necessary to gain access to Central Hudson’s meter pan?
  • If your solar installation requires access to the meter pan and/or cutting or removing Central Hudson’s seal, you will be required to obtain a permit from your local municipality. Before obtaining this permit, you will need to complete a Central Hudson Data Sheet in order to receive a job number. Please click on this link to access Central Hudson’s contractor requirements and forms. If you have any questions or need additional assistance please feel free to contact our Customer Service Department at 845-452-2700. Please note that Central Hudson does not allow direct taps into Central Hudson’s meter or transformer under any circumstances.

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  • Will my DG installation require upgrades to the utility grid?
  • For systems 50 kW or less, if any upgrades are deemed necessary, they will be included in your notification of acceptance to proceed with your proposed installation. Common upgrades for systems 50kW or less include: transformer upgrades and secondary service upgrades. For systems above 50 kW up to 5 MW, this will be analyzed during the preliminary screening analysis which may require a supplemental and/or Coordinated Electric System Interconnection Review (CESIR) to finalize the specific upgrades necessary to interconnect your proposed system.

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  • Why do I need a transformer upgrade?
  • The size of the existing transformer feeding your home or business was originally sized appropriately for the load (kWh usage). In cases where your proposed DG system size exceeds your normal load the existing transformer size may be insufficient. This also includes the aggregate of any existing DG or DG in queue on the transformer prior to your proposed installation. Without upgrading the transformer, the DG system could overload the transformer and cause the customers fed from the transformer to experience high voltage and/or other power quality issues.

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  • Who is responsible for transformer upgrade cost?
  • The applicant/customer is responsible for the cost of transformer upgrade. Check with your agent/contractor, as they may cover this cost on your behalf. For solar systems 25 kW or less, you are responsible for the cost of $350 towards the total cost of the transformer upgrade as determined by the New York Public Service Commission. For solar systems above 25 kW up to 5 MW, you are responsible for total cost incurred upgrading the transformer to accommodate your solar system as determined by the New York Public Service Commission. Please refer to Appendix E of the NYSSIR for the transformer upgrade cost responsibilities for other DG technologies.

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  • How do I pay the transformer upgrade fee?
  • Payments may be made by check, debit card or credit card. Checks can be made out to Central Hudson and mailed to: Central Hudson Gas & Electric, 284 South Avenue, Poughkeepsie New York 12601. Please reference the Billing Invoice Number (labeled as “Account Number” in the format of 9000-####-## on the top right of the invoice) on the check. If you are sending the check prior to receipt of the billing invoice, please send the check to the attention of “Distributed Generation” to ensure it is applied to your application fee.

    To make a debit payment over the phone, please call our Customer Service Department at (845) 452-2700 or toll free at (800) 527-2714. You can pay online with your checking account, at no additional fee. Please note that when making a credit/debit card payment, a third-party payment agent charges a $3.50 fee for residential and $7.95 for non-residential card payments. To make a “one-time online payment” please click here. To make a credit/debit card payment by phone, please dial (888) 909-4634. Fees will still apply.

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  • Can you provide a high level interconnection feasibility overview for a site prior to the submission of an interconnection application?
  • Yes, you have the option of submitting a Pre-Application, Appendix D of the NYSSIR, at the cost of $750 prior to submitting a complete interconnection application. If you choose to submit a full application within 15 Business Days of Central Hudson’s pre-application results, the additional $750 interconnection application fee will be waived.

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