California PUC upholds solar net metering; SCTY, RUN, CAFD up big

California PUC upholds solar net metering; SCTY, RUN, CAFD up big

California's rooftop solar movement won big Thursday, Jan. 28.

The 3-2 vote approved a plan that, while offering up some new fees to utilities in exchange for connecting consumers to the grid, still fell well short of the measures lobbied for by utilities companies like Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Pacific Gas & Electric.

Solar industry representatives said that the electricity transmission charge would have doubled the fees solar owners would have had to pay. By law, utility profits are tied to investments in infrastructure, not how much electricity they sell. In light of that extension - which came after Picker wrote his initial decision - there was no reason for the commission to give the solar industry an even better deal, he said.

"All faith traditions teach that we have a responsibility to take care of our common home and the gravity of the climate crisis requires that humanity transition as soon as possible to clean renewable energy", said The Rev. Will Scott, program director for California Interfaith Power & Light.

"We are allowing customers to get full credit for exporting and selling surplus electricity to the grid", PUC President Michael Picker said before he and the other commissioners voted on the matter.

The PUC had been directed to rethink how net metering would be structured by the California legislature under AB 327. Earlier today, Bloomberg Business reported that Nevada faces similar struggles between solar owners and utility companies. SolarCity announced it would eliminate 550 jobs in Nevada.

"This creates a bill impact that's too high on non-participating customers", she said.

In addition, customers will pay a charge of about 2 cents a kilowatt-hour for all electricity consumed - under the current policy, customers pay this charge only on the difference between what they use and the power their systems generate.

The CPUC says those additional charges will cover the cost of mandated utility programs like low-income customer support and nuclear decommissioning.

The dissenting commissioners expressed frustration with revisions to the Proposed Decision, released only last night, that removed increases to non-bypassable charges for solar owners.

"Any decision that benefits the few at the cost of the many can only be sustained for so long", he said.

The price of going solar has dropped by half over the past five years, giving families, schools, businesses and others an affordable option for lowering their electricity bills and investing in a brighter California. The new plan would have impacted how much solar customers would be credited for the excess power they collect through their rooftop installations.

Check back with Solar Industry for more analysis and industry reactions.

The commission voted to extend California's "net energy metering" system, considered one of the state's biggest incentives for solar power. Some commissioners say they anticipate that by that time, a more "mature" solar industry may not need as much support.

Americans will bet estimated $4.2 billion on Super Bowl 50
The hold percentage was 2.8 percent, the lowest since the 2011 Super Bowl. "So book now to score the best deal". He provided airline tickets, hotel rooms, access to team parties, a trip to NASA and tickets to the game.