Home Latest News Don't expect a decision on California solar rules to come soon –...

Don't expect a decision on California solar rules to come soon – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Ads

The California Public Utilities Commission has formally asked for additional input regarding aspects of a controversial proposal that would dramatically change the rules for the 1.3 million customers in California who have placed rooftop solar panels on their homes and businesses.
The commission, known as the CPUC, has delayed taking a vote on the proposal for months, and the call for more comments figures to push back the likelihood of a final decision to at least July.

This story is for subscribers
We offer subscribers exclusive access to our best journalism.
Thank you for your support.
Under Net Energy Metering, or NEM, when a rooftop solar system generates more energy than it actually consumes, the excess can be sent back to the electric grid and customers receive credits on their bills.
California’s NEM rules have not been changed since January 2016, and the commission has been working for years on an update, called NEM 3.0.
In December, a complicated 204-page proposed decision was released that — if passed — would significantly alter existing solar regulations.
The revisions include creating a “grid participation charge” of $8 per kilowatt on the solar systems of residential customers. With typical rooftop installations being 5 to 6 kilowatts, that would come to about $40 to $48 per month.
Another potential change would alter how much solar customers are paid when they send excess power back to the grid. Instead of being credited at the retail rate of electricity, customers would get paid at the “actual avoided cost,” which is much lower.
The proposed decision has received furious pushback from many rooftop customers protesting the increased costs. Saying the proposal “taxes the sun,” the solar industry predicts the changes will discourage new customers from making the investment in rooftop installations.

On the other side, utilities across the state have long complained that the growing number of installations leaves customers who don’t have rooftop systems paying a greater share of the fixed costs that come with maintaining the electric system — things like wires, substations and transformers. This cost shift, they and some others argue, leads to non-solar customers paying disproportionately more on their monthly utility bills.
About a month after the proposed decision was released, Gov. Gavin Newsom said, “We still have some work to do” on the proposal and in February, one of the CPUC’s administrative law judges announced the proposed decision “will not appear on the Commission’s voting meeting agenda until further notice.”
Since then, the vote has remained on hold.
The call for additional input focuses on three items:
The CPUC wants comments filed by June 10 and then replies to the comments by June 24, meaning that a subsequent vote won’t likely be cast until July at the earliest.
Two groups in opposing camps issued statements regarding the call for comments.
“While we support the Commission carefully considering reform options, every single day that goes by without NEM reform imposes more cost burden on non-solar customers,” said Kathy Fairbanks, spokeswoman for Affordable Clean Energy For All, a group headed by the state’s investor-owned utilities.
Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar & Storage Association, said “a solar tax appears to be still on the table” and her group “will continue to make sure no one is fooled again by the utility profit grab that makes electricity more expensive for everyone and halts California’s grid resilience and clean energy progress.”
Under CPUC rules, a proposed decision may be amended before it goes to the five commissioners for a vote. It’s also possible that an “alternate proposed decision” that is significantly different from the original may be put forth.
It takes a majority vote of the commissioners to adopt a proposed decision.
Get U-T Business in your inbox on Mondays
Get ready for your week with the week’s top business stories from San Diego and California, in your inbox Monday mornings.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Follow Us
More from this Author
Politics
San Diegans join in nationwide marches for abortion rights

Energy
Environmentalists protest in front of Sempra headquarters

Ads

Energy
Dismantlement efforts at San Onofre nuclear facility ramp back up

Growth & Development
Creating a cultural hub: UC San Diego opens Park & Market downtown

Energy
California energy officials warn of potential summer blackouts

Energy
City of San Diego’s $155,000 investment in portable electric vehicle chargers gets a thumbs up

More in this section
Energy
Possible extension for California’s last nuclear plant draws cheers from supporters, jeers from opponents
Gov. Newsom says the state should consider applying for federal funding to keep the Diablo Canyon plant open for now

Energy
Is Florida’s solar bill a preview of what may happen in California?
Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoes legislation that would have slashed incentives for rooftop solar customers.

Courts
Sullivan Solar boss sentenced to 3 years of probation for stalking ex-girlfriend
Daniel Sullivan was arrested in the stalking case in November, weeks after his company closed down without warning.

Energy
26.7% of SDG&E residential customers have fallen behind on paying utility bills
Overall, 3.6 million Californians are in arrears.

Business
UC San Diego spinout South 8 Technologies nets $12M for tech to improve lithium batteries
Funding to drive commercialization of novel technology that could increase cell voltage and reduce thermal runaway risk in batteries targeting electric vehicles, all-weather grid storage and defense/aerospace products.

California
Biden launches $6B effort to save distressed nuclear plants
The Biden administration is launching a $6 billion effort to rescue nuclear power plants at risk of closing, citing the need to continue nuclear energy as a carbon-free source of power that helps to combat climate change

Most read business stories
Elected leaders urged to move forward on long-sought transit connection to San Diego airport

US reaches deal to reopen shuttered baby formula plant

Don’t expect a decision on California solar rules to come soon

Two studies find vitamin C can prevent and treat leukemia

Creating a cultural hub: UC San Diego opens Park & Market downtown

National Business
Federal Election Commission deadlocks, won’t punish Trump
BNSF tweaks attendance rules but unions still complain

Once a powerful symbol in Russia, McDonald’s withdraws

Baby formula maker Abbott says it has reached deal with regulators to restart production at factory tied to shortage

How major US stock indexes fared Monday

JetBlue, Vulcan Materials fall; Carvana, ManTech rise

Privacy Policy
Terms of Service
Sign Up For Our Newsletters
Follow Us

source

Ads
Previous articleFord mocks Elon Musk and Tesla in latest ad? Says `will fly away when things get hard` – Zee News
Next articleCryptocurrency Prices Today April 17: Bitcoin, Dogecoin fall as Ethereum inches higher – Moneycontrol
Abhinav Breathes and Bleeds Technology. He's a humanoid with a passion for Gadgets, Cars, Gaming. You can usually find him on PSN Blabbering about his FIFA skills.