California Rules On Net Metering For Rooftop Solar

The California Public Utilities Commission voted on Thursday to approve new, net energy metering (NEM) rules, which govern how owners of rooftop solar systems are metered by the electric industry, in a ruling which was widely hailed by the solar industry. The ruling on the NEM 2.0 tariff rates governs how rooftop solar energy is metered, including how those rooftop solar energy customers are paid for excess solar energy generated by their panels. The new tariff upholds the retail rates currently paid to owners for generating extra solar energy, which had been under attack by electric utilities. As part of the new tariff, however, those panel owners will need to move to time-of-use rates, which more accurately reflect the cost of energy at different times of the day. Utilities in California have been complaining that solar power users are not being charged fairly to account for the cost of electric infrastructure, and have been looking to discourage further competition from rooftop solar.