This is good news for solar and a step in the right direction. However, we are still going to see some changes to the current Net Energy Metering agreement, changes soon to be announced.
Daily News Reported:
Rooftop solar-power panels have bloomed across houses and businesses over the last decade to the point where Californians seem intent on breaking the big utilities’ century-long monopoly in favor of homegrown.
And that fact has sparked enormous concerns in the executive suites of Southern California Edison, PG&E and other big power providers throughout the state. This year they lobbied the Public Utilities Commi
ssion long and hard to dramatically cut back the rate at which individuals with occasional excess power are paid for selling it back to the rest of us on the grid. The rooftop solar industry said that such a ruling could essentially kill their business in California, pointing to similar rulings in Arizona and Hawaii where new regulations have done just that.
Now the future of solar in California looks brighter after the proposed decision by PUC President Michael Picker, expected to be approved by the full commission at its Jan. 28 meeting. It isn’t just a slap to the legacy firms, though. The commission understands the practical considerations of the changing business climate for the companies. Picker proposes a new, one-time fee of between $75 and $150 for those installing rooftop solar. Responding to charges that rooftop is a kind of subsidy for the middle-class and affluent Californians who can afford its installation, Picker wants rooftop customers to pay a new 2 to 3 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity they consume from the grid to support low-income homeowners’ bills along with efficient-energy programs. But it’s a compromise that continues to allow the net-metering that on sunny days turns suburban homes into mini-power plants. The future still looks bright for solar.
Source: Daily News