In California, there has been a multi-year war waged over the fate of a mechanism called net energy metering (NEM). The process involves customers sending their excess solar-generated electricity to the grid and receiving a credit on their utility bill at a retail rate for all exported electricity.
A new revised NEM proposal is set to be released after the elections on November 8, 2022. It will be watched closely by Californians as utilities now argue that the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act will make fair net metering rates unnecessary.
Net Energy Metering has been a critical policy in launching the California rooftop solar market, which has grown to a robust 1.3 million homes covered in panels, representing about 50% of the US residential market. It also helped launch distributed commercial rooftop projects, another key part of California’s race to electrical decarbonization.
It came under threat when a new investor-owned utility-backed proposal, NEM 3.0, was placed on the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) desk. The proposed decision included roughly an 80% reduction in the payment for excess solar energy sent to the grid, and tacks on an $8 per kW monthly charge for all solar customers, regardless of whether they have battery energy storage or not. A common-sized 8 kW system would be charged $64 a month, a fee that makes solar a non-option for most customers.
In fact, at the time of the proposal, a survey of 4,000 active home solar shoppers found that 95% of homeowners were no longer interested in buying solar after viewing the cost assumptions of the new rate plan. Laura Deehan, state director Environment California condemned the proposal as “a tax on the sun.”
(Read: “Thousands of Californians protest NEM 3.0”)
After the proposal was decried by environmentalists, energy experts, jobs experts and Californian citizens alike, it was revised. The new decision was still chock-full of anti-rooftop solar and pro-centralized utility structuring.
“Non-bypassable charges” that were added in the revised NEM 3.0. These charges would add a proposed $0.05/kWh to all customers, whether they have solar on their roof or not. The charges would even apply to power generated by the customer’s home solar system, which is unconventional considering the utility does not have ownership over the solar array and did not invest in it. For context, the average American pays about $0.145/kWh for electricity, so the addition of a $0.05/kWh non-bypassable charge would be a heavy hitter on Californians’ utility bills.
ROTH Capital Partners Phil Shen said in an industry note that the new proposal, expected on November 8, may add a $10 to $20 per month fixed charge and a rapid glide path to low export rates between two to six cents per kWh. This net metering payment is a far cry below the 29 cents per kWh the average Californian is charged by the utility.
The reason behind the policy appears simple, investor-owned utilities want to sell Californians power, they want to retain monopoly control. NEM 3.0 is backed by all the major utilities in the state, including PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E.
The utilities have pushed the concept of a “cost shift,” indicating that rich Californians reap the benefits of rooftop solar while poorer Californians pick up the tab for net metering costs. However, this theory has held little water under analysis, and new policy and data makes the argument even more flimsy.
Sixteen state-level studies have disproven the cost-shift argument, as has a national study, completed by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LNBL). Berkeley found that 40 of the 43 states and Washington D.C. with net metering programs have a negligible cost increase attributed to solar, and in many cases had cost benefits. Read more about the utility-backed push of NEM 3.0 and the cost shift argument here.
Two major changes
The cost shift argument holds even less weight under the light of new data from LNBL and new policy in the state.
In its annual Residential Solar-Adopter Income and Demographics Trends report, it found that about one-third of California households that installed rooftop solar in 2021 were solidly working- and middle-class families, with annual incomes between $50,000 and $100,000. Only 12 percent of households had annual incomes of $250,000 or more. It also found that the median income among all U.S. households that installed solar in 2021 was roughly $110,000, compared to $129,000 in 2010.
“The numbers of middle-income California households adopting rooftop solar is encouraging news and further underscores how successful the state’s current financial incentives have been at making the clean energy option available for budget-minded families,” said EWG President and California resident Ken Cook.
These findings buck the argument that working-class families are subsidizing richer residents. But what about renters, and those with homes unsuitable for rooftop solar? New policy changes have also made headway in this area.
Following Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature, California passed AB 2316, the Community Renewable Energy Act. The law creates a community renewable energy program, including community solar-plus-storage, to overcome access barriers for nearly half of Californians who rent or have low incomes.
Community solar projects are often smaller than utility-scale facilities, and are ideally built on landfills, former industrial sites, and other brownfield locations. Customers typically subscribe to a share of energy produced by the local clean energy project, accessing lower bills and reducing their carbon footprint.
Without the ability to purchase and install solar directly on a rented residence, community solar offers a pathway to the 45% of Californians who rent their homes, and the 70% of renters who are considered low-income. The program’s structure ensures that at least 51% of subscribers are low-income customers, triggering at least a 40% federal tax credit on solar panels under the Inflation Reduction Act.
“Community renewable energy is a proven powerful tool to help close California’s clean energy gap, bringing much needed relief to millions struggling with high housing costs and utility debt,” said Alexis Sutterman, energy equity program manager at the California Environmental Justice Alliance.
The new NEM proposed decision will be presented to the CPUC on after the elections on November 8. Utilities now argue that fair net metering rates aren’t necessary based on new clean energy incentives created by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. But those who understand the value of distributed rooftop solar aren’t buying it.
“The CPUC and Gov. Newsom should follow the facts, not the narrow interests of the power companies, and reject their plot to rip away access to rooftop solar for working-class Californians. The data shows these are the folks relying the most on the state’s residential solar program,” said Cook.
Those interested in supporting a healthy, long-term extension of fair rooftop solar rulemaking can sign a petition made by the Environmental Working Group of California at the bottom of the linked page.
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Here we go again. Soon utilities will no longer exist as for-profit behemoths. Local solar, wind and bio energy will replace them just a Thomas Edison had envisioned. Long distance transmission was the idea of Westinghouse to get hydro power from Niagra Falls to Buffalo, New York and utilities have built on that idea for hydro and fossil fueled plants for over one hundred years. Now it is possible to be totally off-grid with one’s home electrical needs. Solar panels, batteries and an off-grid LP gas or gasoline generator for back up is all you need.
Agree with you, Ed. Also, there are several dams in the NW that should be demolished and replaced with solar because they’ve helped demolish the salmon runs.
Agree except for the gasoline generator. Not sure why that’s needed if you have a whole house battery system. After Hurricane Ian, gas stations couldn’t pump gas without electricity, but as soon as the sun came out the next day, people with solar and batteries were up and running right away. They were charging their EV cars while gas lines stretched miles down the road waiting for gas that often ran out.
While agreeing with your comment, I did want to reply to Ridi James: I have solar, plus battery backup, however, I live on the wrong side of a canyon. In the summer I overproduce electricity, but in the winter I’m lucky if I generate 4 or 5 KW, which is far less than the 20 KW minimum my home uses. LP or gasoline generator would be the only solution for people like myself, who don’t generate enough to even partially recharge the batteries for off-peak usage, let alone to become self-sufficient.
What I do see already starting to happen, is that people are investigating solar less and less, this NET change will destroy the viability completely. $64 per month just to have it sit doing nothing for 3-4 months of the year, then paying less for what I provide back to the grid during summer. Meaning it would end up cheaper to shelf the whole thing and simply pay for usage with no solar.
At least bringing the program to a smaller, local level, communities pooling together to generate and moderate usage (doing away with the “for-profit” agencies looking to rip us off), might solve that. Our canyon is a classic example of that, rates have been increased due to fire risk costs and line maintenance, yet not one inch of line has been moved from poles to subterranean. Doing so would negate the fire risk, pole replacement, and the continual power outages when they turn off power due to high winds – Meaning people pay more but have more and more outages each year as well. Why not run it ourselves? Plenty of space for wind and solar. After initial setup, the overheads would be far less than the combined electricity bills.
A few generators for emergencies gas/LP would be the final backup in place.
Hi, peter. I built my 8,000-watt backyard ground mount system with 80 – 100-amp hour lead acid batteries starting back in 2007 because I did not trust the utilities to keep the NEM contracts going and the NEM 3.0 shows I was correct. I would power my home with my off-grid system and fill in the gaps with utility power and went from 15,000 kilo watt hours per year to 7,200 kilo watt hours per year from the utility dropping out of tier 5 that used to cost 48 cents per kilo watt hour to tier 3 that averaged 22 cents per kilo watt hour. Since I did not connect to the grid, they saw it is just a non-solar purchase of power. I also have 2 backup gasoline generators and a transfer switch installed during the California Enron Black out crisis.
In 2020, when I needed a new roof, I purchased a Tesla Solar Glass Roof Compleat without batteries for just NEM 2.0 Benefits from East Bay Community Energy that had offed 10 cents per kilo watt hour for any extra electricity and after being turned on for just one month, they went and dropped the compensation to just 3 cents. So now I use up all the extra electricity I produce replacing my natural Gas Furnace with electric heaters rather than let them profit from my extra electricity.
I also have two city trees that are 80-feet tall south of my solar roof, so I also only get 5 kilo watt hours from the roof in the Winter that was getting 40 kilo watt hour per day in the summer. So, the Banked NEM 2.0 is a real-life saver. My back yard off-grid panels still produce 15 kilo watt hours in the Winter, and they can power some of my Winter needs but not all. Removing the City trees is an $8,000.00 option that could be visited in the future if NEM3.0 is implemented and going fully off grid again needs to be done.
“The CPUC and Gov. Newsom should follow the facts, not the narrow interests of the power companies, and reject their plot to rip away access to rooftop solar for working-class Californians. The data shows these are the folks relying the most on the state’s residential solar program,” said Cook. . . . This implies Newsom is against rooftop solar which doesn’t make any sense. Newsom is FOR increasing residential rooftop solar and making it as affordable as possible. Just google it. What is Cook talking about whenhe says this about Newsom?
Every day there is one more reason to leave California. The utilities and so-called leadership of this state are irredeemably corrupt.
Look at Vermont, their utilities give 80% retail credit for all energy produced by rooftop solar that is not immediately used up by the home. They live and prosper on that 20% the utility gets to keep while the homeowner gets the 80% and does not need to invest in batteries. They also do not limit the size of the rooftop solar system you can install like California utilities do, so the more energy produced, the more the homeowner and the utility profits.
Solar owners should get together some summer day and switch off their roof-top solar and use only the utility’s power — maybe make it a weekly event. Or, two days a week! Hello brown-outs galore!
While I like Newsom so far, he did take a lot of money from utility companies… So it remains to be seen how loyal he is to the truth
Perhaps you aren’t aware, Newsome is firmly in the pocket of PG&E. They have bankrolled his entire career. He has consistently let PG&E off the hook and protected from from lawsuits when they commit mass murder (among other crimes). Don’t expect any help from Newsome, or most of the CA politicians for that matter. Almost all of them take money from PG&E.
Can’t sign the petition or even find it because your link is bogus.
Hello, the link has been fixed. Thank you for pointing this out!
We cannot allow the utilities to rip us off.
Ultimately, investor owned electric utilities will be absorbed by state government; this has been progressing incrementally for several decades. It’s duplicitous for California and it’s political agencies and subdivisions to entertain measures that seek to temporarily provide financial support, effectively forestalling goverment ownership to a more politically convenient time.
Current solar nem 2.0 users pay 5 cent electric rate for Non-bypassable charges but only for solar people paying the electric taxes. (50 percent of house holds have solar)
So instead of doing the right thing and lowering the rate by half to 2 and a half percent. PGE decides they can try to get away with imposing the same rate but to everyone double their profits.
Sneaky move PGE.
Once I have to go onto NEM 3.0 I will disconnect from the Grid. Prepare for more blackouts in California. PGE and CPUC you have been warned ! Solar people will do what’s in their best industry and that’s disconnect from the grid completely once NEM 3 happens.
I imagine this will create new type of home electrical systems. where power is only taken from the grid as needed, and stored locally or wasted, rather than be locked into the NEM 3.0 system.
Thanks, John, that is what I did with my first 8,000 watts of solar panels and batteries but I still had a high Natural Gas bill in the Winter when the sun only produced 30% of what it does in the summer months. The only long-term storage credit is with the NEM 2.0 since my local batteries cannot store energy for 6 months. After the next 8,000 watts of Grid Tied Telsa Solar Roof, I could bank up enough credits to switch over to electric heat and cut the gas bill for heating to ZERO. Even with the California mandate to switch over to “all Electric”, when a utility has the word GAS in its NAME, it is looking at all the lost revenue from both electricity and natural Gas with the advent of rooftop solar and backyard wind production. NEM-3.0 is a preemptive strike against the mandate and rooftop solar. This is also why Gasoline Generators are now banned in California for those that want to disconnect from the grid with their solar panel systems and have some kind of backup.
It is time to nationalize California’s failed utilities. We have the highest energy prices in the nation other than Hawaii if I recall correctly. This despite having ample solar, wind, geothermal and (at least in the past), hydro power resources.
Our utilities DELIBERATELY waste money on every project because they get to pass the costs on to ratepayers and their profits are a fixed percentage of those costs.
$0.14 per kWh? I wish. In San Francisco it’s about $0.28 if you can stay in tier 1. In Lake County in northern California where my parents live, the price is more like $0.37 / kWh…These companies are massive failures being run by professional grifters
Thank you , we need this
We’ve cancelled our plans to install rooftop solar with battery back-up. The contractors have all jacked up their prices in San Francisco such that there is no economic advantage over the entire lifetime of the system, should we even live here that long. That, plus the new monthly fees proposed make it a no-brainer to opt out. Ironic that the panels themselves keep getting cheaper, but the greedy installers basically want 5% of the value of your home for their two or three days of labor. Nope. PG&E should have been taken over by the state of California when it had the chance, you simply can’t trust a for-profit entity to act in the true best interests of the citizenry when dealing with critical infrastructure and basic human needs.
Learn how to do it yourself. I did. And you can still take advantage of the federal, state, and local tax incentives. It cuts payback time way, way down!
Inflation has made solar a lot more expensive but even with inflation, under nem2 my 42k 15kw system will hav paid for itself In 7 years at current pge rates .38/kWh. Even much faster if rates keep increasing as fast as they have been the past few years. At the same time I’m covering all my electrical needs so my only out of pocket is the loan which is a flat $250/month as opposed to the minimum of $450/month to $1000/month in the hot months I was paying before solar.
Lately with all of the rate increases though, it’s imperative you install enough to cover all of your usage. Otherwise I’m 5 years you’ll likely be paying the utility the same as you are now for much less kw usage.
Is there any law that prevents existing PGE customers from going off-grid? Can you be a LP only customer?
Solar+Batteries+generator will easily take people completely off grid in most people in California. It’s not a trivial investment at all but electricity prices keep going and solar+batteries prices keep going down. Solar water heaters and heat pumps are extremely efficient also and can remove your LP dependency.
What am I missing here?
You don’t need to disconnect from the grid. You just have a solar system where you can’t export power, so no NEM agreement. On those days where you don’t generate enough power, you charge your batteries from the grid.
If they are only going to pay you two cents a kWh, what is the value in exporting power?
Wow. Imagine charging people to grow their own food or do their own repairs. This is Bs. When we should be doing everything possible to reduce our carbon footprint, the utilities just want to protect their shareholders. I’m off-grid (in Texas). Those utilities are going to find themselves without any customers at all with such policies. They should buy power from their customers and be happy to be able to resell power that they did not have to pay to generate, and leave it at that. No American should ever be punished for trying to become self-sustaining, independent, and environmentally beneficial. Soon, with the ICE ban, California will need every watt it can get. With all the blackouts they have, every home should be able to have their own generation and batteries. In WWII it was Victory Gardens. In the war for the environment, people should be rewarded for generating clean power, not penalized!
so as a HERS Rater and Title 24 Consultant I am here to tell you that the entire program is a hoax. The software I use to “model homes” for Title 24 compliance is rigged. It was paid for by the Gas Industry Subsidies, and the algorithm favors gas fired appliances. This software compliance suite makes little sense and requires extensive training and certification to utilize lawfully. My results are not promising, and I have proven that this software deliberately fails energy efficient homes with all electric appliances in favor of gas fired appliances which take “almost no electricity”. The Net Energy Metering Regulations are a crime not a law. This entire program needs to scrapped. There should be zero modeling required to add solar to your rooftop. As the HERS Solar Inspector of Record for my company I have personally inspected thousands of homes with plat panels. Very few of them were proper, but miraculously they all met the absolutely flimsy and childish state standards.
I will reiterate that the State of California and the California Electric Commission (CEC) are absolutely committing widespread fraud with the Energy Efficiency Standards Enforcement and other protocols surrounding Title 20 and Title 24 of the State Administrative Code. In fact I have noticed that these new high efficient furnaces favored by the modeling software actually pull between 5 and 12 Watts while powered down due to a large power using computer control board worked the old fashioned way. This basically throws the baby out the window with the bath water. It is all a Hoax, funded by the Gas Company.
Thanks for your comment, Chris. Speaking of hoaxes, my brother lives in Oregon and the gas company there is “testing hydrogen” by mixing a small percentage in with the methane to determine if 100% hydrogen can eventually be used to fuel home appliances. It’s has been very well scientifically studied and shown that using hydrogen is highly inefficient and wasteful compared to simply keeping the energy in electrical form. That’s if electricity is used to extract hydrogen from water to produce it. It’s even worse if hydrogen is extracted from methane because it releases huge amounts of CO2. On top of that, hydrogen migrates into the crystalline structure of gas pipelines causing ‘hydrogen embrittlement’ which then causes cracking. It gets worse but you get the idea. These are scams to try to keep the gas companies and fossil-fuel industry propped up. They waste our resources and money and make certain people rich.
Solar is the way to go but with prices so high the only other viable option is to buy a DIY kit and go at it. I went this rout and don’t regret, I learned a lot on the way and the saving was ridulously amazing. I got the Harbor Freight system, check it out here. https://tinyurl.com/3s3pxc6t
Rey’s link goes to a Rumble page. Rumble is the cloud services business known for hosting “Truth” Social and the video platform is popular among the Far-Right who promote the The Big Lie, QAnon, and other misinformation and phony conspiracy theories.
OK. Let power companies reimburse home owners for cost of installing solar since they want total control of all electricity produced in the State. I understand mismanagement and greed has let them to this farce.
It makes no sense to punish the efforts of the working middle class Californian’s who are trying to support renewable energy that spend tens of thousands of dollars of borrowed money on rooftop solar on their homes. We do it also to help keep costs down but with investing into the huge future energy demands expected from EV charging. How can the little guy ever stand a chance against the big corporations that has government doing whatever they ask from them? The people need to be represented and protected from this investor greed.
In addition to signing the petition, what is even more effective is to call Governor New son’s office and leave a voice message for him.
The number to call is: 1-916-445-2841.
You could remind him that he said during his campaign that “Californians should be furious at PG&E.”
And that, indeed we were then, and in fact still are over this absurd new net metering plan.
Here’s his chance to fix something he should have done as soon as he got elected!
Widely distributed solar + storage is the way we’re going to break the log-standing energy market manipulation & economic stranglehold of authoritarian petro-states, BigOil & state sanctioned utility monopolies. 5 years after they started the horrendous Tubbs Fire in Sonoma County & serial bankruptcies, PG&E is finally under-grounding their vulnerable rural transmission lines. Their business model was designed to pay guaranteed dividends to wealthy investment funds instead of protect customers from foreseeable Armageddon. Their “risk managers” were paid to keep the dividends rolling & tell the CEOs what they wanted to hear. Time’s up! Cut the BS & fix your dilapidated & hazardous grid! We now need typical big energy sucking leased commercial properties like neighborhood shopping centers, business parks, public facilities & large apartment complexes to start installing solar carport canopies with integrated stationary storage & V2G chargers so ordinary working folks can charge their EVs at home OR at work. These properties should be the hubs of 1 to 2 mile radius micro grids networked across our typical widely distributed solar residential communities.
I had a solar system installed on my roof in Sept. I had the city inspection on Oct 2 2022. Everything passed a ND my system was turned on. At that time I was told that p g e would take about 6 weeks to get me in there system. All this time I am not getting credit for the power I am putting back into the grid, in I wonder if they, pge, are just draging there feet until after the elections to get me in the higher bracket.
Wait, so all these big “power” companies can not sustain the infrastructure, and leech off our solar energy, which we give them the surplus to sustain their weak infrastructure (we give them and they compensate us for). And they want to charge us for helping keep them afloat??
They can word it however they wish but it’s still stealing/extortion.. and they want the us to go full electric .. big power is partially owned by government so we shall see what happens. They always fond a way to squeeze more.
I live in Colorado. My electric provider is Black Hills Energy. I have been connected to BHE since 1998. BHE’s electric rates are almost the highest in the state.
I installed a ground mounted solar array to “fix” my electric bill going forward. I’m retired and don’t need my electric bill going up every other year.
I have the option to be paid a pittance for the kWhs I send out to the grid. Or the option to bank those kWhs for those times when there isn’t much solar generation and the grid supplies more power to meet my needs.
I’m still in the final stages of commissioning my Enphase Encharge battery back up system. Thus some of my excess generation will go to keeping the batteries charged. The remaining excess will go to the grid.
My utility is taking advantage of using my excess generation, going out to the grid, to help meet their renewable energy target. I get a check for that the end of each year.
Is California not taking advantage of this?
Or taking advantage of it and still wanting to penalize the customer?
Californians need to look at other states solar generation rules and compare them.
Night time electric power to people with rooftop solar is being heavily subsidized by everyone else. Heavily subsidized. Why not install batteries on your buildings, cut the cord, and none of what the California Public Utilities Commission does will be your problem? Further, homeowners with rooftop solar should sell their power at closer to wholesale rates, rather than full retail rates, because they don’t have enough expenses in power generation to fully justify retail rates. If rooftop solar people are being subsidized, then where is mine?
TURN and CARE programs with PG&E have been subsidizing the poor and lower middle class with reduced cost electricity and natural Gas for years taken from all the middleclass and upper middle-class ratepayers for years. 37 % of Residential Californians are on the CARE 20% reduction costing the other 63% rate payers – 10% more on their bills. With rooftop solar being only 3% of the total energy produced in California There is 10 times more cost shifting for CARE and other utility rate payer programs than for Rooftop Solar panels. Rooftop solar customers are only paid 3 cents for each kilo watt hour they sell back to PG&E or EBCE at true up each year yet the wholesale price is over 10 cents per kilo watt hour on the energy portion of the bills. PG&E charges 25 cents to 49 cents per kilo watt hour depending on usage and time of day they energy is purchased at. It was those higher rates, thanks to TURN pushing rates as high as 48 cents per kilo watt hour back in 2008, that made Solar Roofs so popular in California even at the $8 to $10 per watt price tag. Now that solar panels system is $3.00 per watt, it is no wonder utilities are worried they could have no future customers. It is all about “corporate greed” from privately held holding companies or corporations that own the California utilities since de-regulation.
The link still doesn’t work for the petition… I am going to call Gavin every day.
This is bogus. First PGE does not pay me fair cost NEM. I contributed $400 in electricity 2019 hen my inverter went out and the beginning if the pandemic and ni one would fix it. I ended up owing pge over $1100 for 2020 and instead of crediting ne the $400 they gave me around $50 and forced me to pay the remaining $1050+. They’re taking advantage of people who produce excess energy. We earn 70k have a 50k loan for the roof we were forced to get plus our solar. The idea that we now have to pay 5cents for our energy plus not get ANYTHING back for the fact that we produce excess energy for pge is a giant RIP off. We should at the very least be grandfathered in and not have to face extra charges and racketeering they plan to roll out because they want to profit off our suffering.
I pay $1,200 every year for replacement batteries or about $100.00 per month being off grid with my solar plus battery system and generate 7200 kilo watt hours per year or 600 kilo watt hours per month. Just think if you had to have batteries on top of everything else. The batteries work out to 16 cents per kilo watt hour and the solar panels are about 10 cents per kilo watt hour so off-grid electricity is 26 cents per kilo watt hour. or about what PG&Es lowest pricing per kilo watt hour works out to. Thanks to the tiered and overpriced peak time rates of 35 cents to 49 cents per kilo watt hour, the 26 cents solar plus battery system is still cheaper.
Wake up! The problem is Gavin Newsome and one party rule destroying California democrats don’t have the ba!!$ to confront PGE our only hope is complete collapse. As a 40 year business owner I can no longer depend on the state grid it’s unreliable and corrupt. Please see SF gate article businesses are leaving California at double the rate of last year!!!!! What more proof do you need ? Every metric in California is failing VOTE FOR CHANGE SHEEPLE!!!
Utility monopoly abuses that utilities have had since utility de-regulation was pushed by our then Republican Governors that gave Californians the highest utility rates in the nation. Claiming that having many “power suppliers” would open competition thus lowering utility rates ended up opening up Enron collusion and the bankruptcy bail-out with higher rates of our local utilities. This is also why we have higher Cable TV rates, Internet rates and Telephone rates because all the regulations put in place before 1999 were voided and companies no longer had to hold to the 8% per Anum maximum profits for stockholders on natural monopolies.
Love all these haters of California. Move move and move. Please go to Georgia or Alabama. Sit here complaining like little girls. Get out of America for a while and see how good you have it. Bunch of ungrateful babies
I’ve been a lifelong Democrat until covid struck. My son is severely immunodeficient I got the vaccine to protect him and I had a severe adverse event. Because of Democrats laws doctors wont give me an exemption and I was fired. Meanwhile my fully vaccinated husband brought covid home 3xs and because of both Trump and democrats the goverment didnt order the monoclonals needed for those with immunodeficiency so my son has suffered without therapy. Dems say they care about the vulnerable but they just make us suffer more while they pretend to be altruistic. Now they are hurting us solar owners look at my comment above. We dont earn a lot. We have been harmed already by PGE and now they want to persecute us more. This is horrible. I’m so heartbroken waking up to the fact that Dems are no better. They want clean energy then punish people for pursuing it. They don’t truly care it’s all a racket.
Responding to Heidi:
What you’ve been through is terrible, but believe me, as far as PG&E and solar, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the Republicans or Democrats.
It has everything to do with PG&E being a for profit, publicly traded utility.
That means it’s top executives are rewarded with rich annual bonuses and stock options for doing two things:
First, keeping the stock price high (and repurchasing shares of PG&E stock is one way of doing that); Second, paying out as much as possible in dividends to shareholders.
Note that there is nothing in these two things about taking care of the customers who have no choice but to rely on them for gas and electricity.
That is a fundamental misalignment of compensation and goals, which until it gets fixed, will always lead to a continuation of exactly what we currently have—grossly overpriced, lousy service to PG&E customers, while their executives make millions serving only the shareholders.
Governor Gavin Newsom knows that and has publicly said so. He’s apparently just too preoccupied gearing up to run for President to bother fixing it.
What could the Governor DO to fix “it”?
I agree with everything you said about for-profit utilities, but it was our Governor that stopped NEM 3.0 back in March and he still has an eye out for monopoly abuses that utilities have since utility de-regulation was pushed by our then Republican Governors that gave us the highest utility rates in the nation.
You’re right about Republican deregulation. However, that’s water under the bridge. Today PG&E is a giant political tar baby. Far easier and more politically expedient for Newsom to keep it limping along, providing lousy service to ratepayers at exorbitant rates, than to roll up his sleeves and fix it.
As the other question regarding exactly what the Govenor could do, well, just about anything he wants. It a state granted monopoly. He runs the state.
For starters, he could demand a total realignment of PG&E management’s goals and compensation to emphasize customer service.
He could fire and replace the entire PUC, whom he appoints. Replace them with commissioners who aren’t merely cozy sycophants for the utility they’re supposed to be watchdogs over.
He could force the break up PG&E into numerous smaller, more customer focused utilities.
Put it this way. They didn’t make all those campaign contributions to him over the years because he’s a figurehead with no power over them. And you’re absolutely right that he’s keenly sensitive to the problem. We just need him to prioritize fixing it.
Why we are seeing the repeat of utility commission getting cozy with utility companies again?
When does commission will start taking stand for future/environment/citizens of california?
It is a shame that at tax payers money these commission work for ‘for profit’ companies.
Californians should hold these commission members and elected officials who appointed these commission members accountable. Star with calling your representative
Agreed. However, if you’re in California start with calling the governor’s office. You can leave a voicemail stating your opposition. He appoints the PUC committee members you’re talking about.
Here’s the number to call:
If NEM 3.0 try’s modifies the present NEM 2.0 users agreement without grandfathering, there will be immediate lawsuits launched. As another comment, Ron Desantis vetoed NEM 2.0.
Question for anyone who might know the answer. I’m literally, this week November 7th – 11th, turning ON my new 12KW grid tie (PV) system for the first time. No batteries at this juncture, just too expensive IMHO. I’m in SCE territory.
My Solar PV contractor/ installer was fairly confident that I would be Grandfathered in under NEM 2.0.
Does anyone know, with some certainty, if my NEM 2.0 could be in jeopardy? Do we know the actual implementation dates Nd business rules for NEM 3.0?
Many thanks for the article! It is very informative.
My calculation shows that NEM 3.0 could work economically if the fixed monthly charge were 5 USD per kWp and with a feed-in tariff of 50% the retail tariff. The payback time would be ~15 years.
OK Alfred lets crunch the numbers. Take a 10,000-watt solar panel system and a utility charge $50.00 per month and the net bill for the solar panels, before production is $600.00 per year times 25 years or $15,000.00 Plus the cost of the solar panels of $30,000.00 equals $45,000.00 in cost before production. The home uses 9,200.00 kilo watt hours a year and the solar panels produce 12,000.00 kilo watt hours annually. the net surplus is 2,800 kilo watt hours. utility pays 50% of that (not True-up) and you get 1,400 Kilo watt hours in credits for wintertime usage. To replace Natural Gas with Electric heating you need 3,600 Kilo watt hours of banked electrical energy for which you will only get $1,400.00 credit. In order to replace the natural gas, the homeowner needs to produce 7200 kilo watt hours more than the 9,200 they currently use so that means the solar panel system needs to be 17,200 watts and that will increase the monthly fee to $ $86.00 or $1032.00 per year in fees times 25 years equals $24,760.00 plus the solar system itself $51,600.00 or $76,360 over 25 years to break even with electric heat rather than natural gas. That would mean the existing Electrical and gas bills would need to be $3040.00 per year combined just to break even and of course if one wants a return on their money like putting the $76,360.00 into an 8% investment, The current monthly utility bill would need to be over $600.00 per month to even consider the investment. 767 kilo watt hours would have to be valued at 60 cents per kilo watt hour and the natural gas would have to be $4.20 per therm to make the switch over economically feasible to your proposal. With the current mandates, every California home would need over 16,000 watts of solar and your fee would be $80.00 or greater per month and that is exactly the breakeven point for going off grid with batteries with no reductions in value of the electricity and the fees replaced with battery purchases and replacements. Building an off-grid system and only buy power from the utility to charge up the batteries in the winter would be a better investment than what you are the utility is proposing.
Thanks Dan for your detailed answer.
I created a little Excel file to determine the return on investment which I could send you per email attachment. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
My calculation is based on:
specific yield: 1400 kWh/kWp/y
specific cost: 2000 USD/kWp
20% self consumption
retail price of electricity: 29 ct/kWh
The states around us all pay way less for electricity. This includes Oregon which deregulated electricity also. Oregonians pay 30% less than Californians for electricity. So, don’t tell me we pay a high rate because of deregulation.
Why do Californians pay WAY more for gasoline? Is there something magical when I drive 30 miles from El Centro and reach Yuma, Az that the gas prices drop 40% once I cross the border? No, it’s all about the political makeup in California and their agendas. Until you vote the democrats out, we will all will be held hostage by the politicians and their appointees. They only appoint wacko left wing people to the CPUC. These people are all about redistirbution of wealth. This is why you are paid so little for the electricity you generate and why we all pay extra in our electricity bills to fund low income programs. And that is why they want to increase the fees for solar owners.
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