California PUC Upholds Net Metering Policy

 California PUC Upholds Net Metering Policy

In a 3-2 vote Thursday, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) upheld the state’s net metering rule, which credits solar customers for any electricity fed into the grid.

CPUC established a successor program to California’s existing Net Energy Metering (NEM) program, which requires new net metering customers to pay a one-time interconnection fee and charges for any power drawn from the grid to support public programs.

“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, vice president of state affairs with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).  “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.”

Under the new program, solar customers will also pay time-of-use rates to improve customer responsiveness to grid impacts.

The new net metering program takes effect for new customers after California’s utilities’ existing NEM program participation caps are met or July 1, 2017, whichever occurs first.

“Our course is not for the rooftop solar industry or for the utilities or the community clean energy aggregators,” said Michael Picker, CPUC president.  “Our decision today is another big step toward giving California consumers more choice, more control and more responsibility over energy and climate change issues.  It’s a big step, but it’s only one of many.”

CPUC said it will revisit the net metering policy in 2019.

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