Section 1. Section 139 of Chapter 164 of the Massachusetts General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following subsection:
(j) Notwithstanding the aggregate net metering capacity limits specified in subsection (f), any on-site renewable energy source which is determined by the administrator of the net metering system of assurance to otherwise meet the qualifications for net metering cap allocation shall qualify for net metering provided such determination is obtained on or beforeDecember 31, 2016.
Section 2. (a)(1) There shall be a net metering study commission established to research and review the long-term viability of net metering in the commonwealth. The commission shall assess and report to the legislature on the costs and benefits of the existing net metering framework from the perspectives of the customer-generator, non-participating ratepayers, and the citizens of the commonwealth at large. The commission shall report on these findings and make recommendations to the legislature to encourage the sustained and orderly development of customer-sited renewable generation sources within the commonwealth, while minimizing any cross-subsidization by or of such generation.
The commission shall consist of 12 members or their designees: 1 of whom shall be the chairperson of the department of public utilities, who shall serve as chair; 1 of whom shall be the commissioner of the department of energy resources; 1 of whom shall be the attorney general; 4 of whom shall be members of the joint committee on telecommunications, utilities and energy, 2 of whom shall be the co-chairs of the committee, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the ranking senate minority member, and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the ranking house minority member; 1 of whom shall be appointed by the Massachusetts Municipal Association; and 4 of whom shall be appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be a representative of a solar energy business association serving members actively doing business across a broad cross-section of the Massachusetts solar market, 1 of whom shall be a representative of a Massachusetts renewable energy business association encompassing multiple RPS eligible technologies, including but not limited to solar, 1 of whom shall represent large electric users, and 1 of whom shall be a representative of a Massachusetts investor owned utility. The commissioners’ terms shall expire 180 days from submission of the final commission report pursuant to subsection (b). A vacancy in the commission shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made.
(2) The members of the commission shall receive no compensation for their services.
(3) The powers of the commission shall include, but not be limited to: (i) using voluntary and uncompensated services of private individuals, agencies and organizations as may be offered or needed; (ii) recommending policies and making recommendations to the general court to effectuate the changes outlined in subsection (a); (iii) enacting by-laws for the commission’s own governance; and (iv) holding regular public meetings, fact-finding hearings and other public forums as the commission considers necessary.
(4) The commission may request from all state agencies such information and assistance as the commission may require.
(b)(1) The commission shall consult with electric distribution companies, consumer organizations, renewable energy businesses residing in the commonwealth and other interested parties, providing at least 1 opportunity for public comment, as well as, the public review of the commission’s draft report prior to filing the report with the general court.
(2) The commission shall convene its first meeting by November 1, 2014 and shall submit its report, along with any recommendations for legislative or regulatory reforms, not later than December 31, 2015 with the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate who shall forward a copy of the report to the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on telecommunications, utilities and energy.
(c) The commission shall be dissolved within 180 days of submission of the final commission report pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.
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