Update 10/10/2023: The CPUC for the second time postponed the vote regulating how solar is used and credited on multimeter properties. The vote is now scheduled for November 2.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is expected to release an amended proposed decision regulating how solar is used and credited on multimeter properties. The CPUC’s previous proposal would have made solar unaffordable for California schools, farms, apartment renters and small businesses.
The amended proposal is anticipated on Monday or Tuesday of next week. A vote by the CPUC on the proposal, originally slated for late September, is currently scheduled for Thursday, October 12.
At issue are proposed changes to the Virtual Net Energy Metering (VNEM) and Net Energy Metering Aggregation (NEMA) programs. The programs let properties with multiple electric meters install a single solar system for the entire property, sharing one solar system’s electricity and net-metering credits with all customers and meters on that property. This brings the benefits of going solar to many types of consumers who otherwise would not benefit from Net Energy Metering (NEM), the program that makes solar more affordable by crediting consumers with solar systems for the excess energy they produce and share back with the energy grid.
Last December, the CPUC drastically reduced the value of solar credits for single-family homes under the NEM program. The CPUC’s original proposed changes to VNEM and NEMA went even further by denying multiple-meter properties the ability to consume the energy that they produce on-site. Instead, the proposal would essentially force these consumers to buy their own solar electricity from the utility at full retail prices. The changes would eliminate the incentive to install rooftop solar at apartments, farms and schools.
Hundreds of organizations and businesses representing clean energy and renters’ rights advocates, affordable housing, farms and schools — as well more than 135 local elected officials — are calling on the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to reject proposals that make it nearly impossible for their constituencies to benefit from rooftop solar and battery storage.
A recently adopted resolution by the Oakland City Council calls on the CPUC and Governor Newsom “to reject any proposals that seek to frustrate or dismantle the ability of multifamily tenants and schools to avail themselves of the benefits of local, renewable and affordable energy through rooftop solar and battery storage.”
Instead, the City Council urged the CPUC to “approve a net energy metering tariff for multifamily housing and schools that includes full credits and savings for multifamily tenants and schools from customer generated energy.”
News item from CALSSA