Yesterday (Jan. 28) the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted to uphold net metering throughout the state. It’s the latest victory for rooftop solar and net metering. The decision is in line with Gov. Jerry Brown’s and the state legislature’s support of solar and renewable energy and will help ensure that California remains the U.S. leader in solar power.
Brown and California’s legislature have passed the most forward-thinking rules for clean energy. By 2030 fully 50 percent of the state’s power will come from renewable energy and it’s emissions will be cut by 40 percent.
Continuing to to allow net-metering will make sure that homeowners can directly enjoy the benefits of their own solar power. Already more than 450,000 households in California have rooftop solar panels, with the passage of the net-metering regulations that number is sure to increase.
The net-metering news was warmly received by the solar industry. ”We thank California's policymakers for today's decision on net metering and applaud the integrity of all parties who contributed to these proceedings. We firmly believe that today's decision is an important step forward and will help build a stronger, more robust electricity grid which delivers clean, cost effective energy to all of the citizens of California,” said SunEdison CEO Ahmad Chatila.
“By voting to continue net metering in California, the CPUC is driving a stake in the ground and solidifying its place as America’s leading clean energy state,” said Sean Gallagher, the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA’s) vice president of State Affairs. “Today’s decision hands Californians a projected $1.6 billion a year and seizes upon a golden opportunity to enable Golden State’s homes, and businesses of all kinds, to choose to go solar.” It also will support jobs in the industry which already employs more than 55,000 people in the state.
Ultimately the commission voted 3 to 2 in favor of continuing net metering. The CPUC decision also required new net metering customers to pay a one-time interconnection fee and pay charges to support public purpose programs related to the grid. They will also be subject to time-of-use rates. The commission will revisit net metering in 2019.
“The decision to rapidly move solar customers onto mandatory time-of-use rates is going to be difficult because we don’t yet know what those rates will be,” Gallagher said. “But, we are committed to meeting this challenge and working with the state to achieve its climate and grid modernization goals.”
In extending its net-metering program, California is among a number of states that are continuing to support net-metering. Among others are Colorado, New York, New Jersey and New Mexico. Nevada’s utility commission, on the other hand, controversially reduced its net-metering program, impacting not only future customers, but also those who already have installed solar on their rooftops.Tweet