Net Metering Changes in California – How this could affect you

Posted on: February 20th, 2023

After much discussion, the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously voted on Dec. 15, 2022 to revise the net metering policy in California. The revision, which goes into effect on April 15, decreases the value of solar energy credits by 75% and should encourage customers to purchase solar battery storage with their solar system.

The state is working toward a clean energy future, but many residents say the new policy, referred to as Net Energy Metering 3.0, does not promote the state’s goals, instead discouraging the adoption of solar and making it less affordable.

Solar companies are also opposed to the new ruling.

“Net metering is the foundation of saving money with solar and without it, most low-income households would never be able to afford a personal power option for their home,” said Greg Butterfield, CEO of solar installer Lumio. “Owning one’s own power vs. renting from the utility locks them into a fixed, lower payment than their grid bill. Once the system is paid for and the investment recouped, that household’s power would be essentially free.” Electricity costs typically increase year to year, and have seen particularly high jumps in the last couple of years.

The CPUC says that NEM 3.0 will increase grid reliability (PDF) and provide more solar opportunities for low-income homes through new incentives and bill credits. Though the decision has been made, solar activists are pushing for a rehearing.

New solar customers can secure the current net metering policy by submitting an interconnection application before the April 15, 2023 deadline. Read on to learn more about the new rules and how they’ll impact Californians.

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