The Michigan Public Service Commission staff has issued its net metering report for the last six months of 2009, which shows that the number of net metering customers jumped by 85 percent.

Under a net metering program, when customers produce electric energy in excess of their needs, power is provided back to the serving utility, permitting the customer to receive a credit for power they place on the system.

"The year 2009 proved to be a banner year for net metering in Michigan," said MPSC Chairman Orjiakor Isiogu. "Both wind and solar installations increased tremendously as customers continued to bring their renewable energy systems online."

The MPSC in May last year adopted net metering and interconnection rules for small, renewable electric generation projects onsite, as required by Public Act 295 of 2008. The report issued today said the number of net metering customers increased from 137 at the end of June 2009 to 254 at the end of December 2009. Wind proved the most popular with the number of installations increasing from 96 to 163 installations during the six-month period, while solar installations increased from 39 to 89 during the same time period. Customers are located throughout the state.

Beginning next year, the annual net metering report will cover calendar years.