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25 May 2012
Solar Net Metering Expanded in California
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Doubles the amount of solar systems to benefit from Net Metering
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On May 24th, 2012, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) unanimously voted to give more Californians access to net metering credit for solar power. Net metering makes sure solar customers get fair credit on their utility bills for the valuable clean solar power they put on the grid for others to use. This helps protect this important solar consumer right for tens of thousands of California homes, schools, businesses and municipal buildings.
The hike in the number of systems eligible for what is known as "net energy metering" (NEM) comes as a result of what the CPUC calls a "clarification" of state law. Previously, electric utilities were obligated to offer net metering credits to customers only until the amount of installed solar capacity equaled 5 percent the utility's total peak demand. That limitation could have left at least one big utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, turning away net metering customers as early as next year. Under the new legal interpretation, utilities will calculate their peak demand by adding together each individual customer's peak demand. "This clarification doubles the amount of solar systems that can benefit from NEM, providing the benefits of solar energy to many more homes, businesses, schools and public agencies that can offset their electricity costs by sending excess solar power to the grid.
The decision will enable more Californians to go solar, with the potential to add roughly two gigawatts worth of solar power—twice the amount currently installed on homes, schools, farms and businesses across the state. Commissioners highlight the many benefits of more rooftop solar to the California economy and energy grid. This important solar policy has already delivered tremendous benefits to California: supported 25,000 solar jobs, driven $10 billion in private investment in the state's clean energy industry, given thousands of homeowners, schools, water districts, industrial users, and cities control over their electricity bills, and installed 2 natural gas plants worth of valuable peak solar power generation that our utilities won't have to build and you won't have to fund.
See the instructional video below to learn more about Net Metering.
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- Tags: Net Metering
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