California Net Metering Ruling; Installations Greater than 1 MW Now Eligible

29 January 2016 Renewable Energy Outlook Blog

In a closely watched hearing, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted 3-to-2 in favor of extending net metering in California. Eligible customers owning generation such as solar photovoltaic (PV) systems will continue to be able to net the electricity they produce against the electricity they consume.

The decision establishes a successor program to the current Net Energy Metering (NEM) program which continues the basic structure. The program will also be open to customer generation facilities larger than 1 MW. Such larger facilities will need to go through California’s “Rule 21” interconnection process and pay for any need studies or grid improvements required to accommodate the new generation. Certain Armed Forces bases and corrections facilities are included among those eligible to install such larger units.

The decision also makes certain adjustments intended to have NEM customers pay costs which the CPUC recognized as being properly attributable to them. These costs include:

  • Interconnection fees. This represents the costs for a utility to review and ensure that a NEM system interconnects safely to the grid.
  • Non-bypassable charges. Previously, NEM customers were allowed to pay required non-bypassable charges based only on their net use of electricity, (i.e., their total usage from the grid minus their electric production). Now they will be required to pay these charges on their total usage from the grid. Non-bypassable charges are used to fund low income and efficiency programs, and are the equivalent of approximate 2-3 cents per kilowatt-hour of energy consumed.

The decision was adopted despite objections from California utilities. PG&E, Edison International and Sempra Energy had sought increased fees and reduced payments to power-generating customers, arguing that customers who don’t have solar shouldn’t subsidize those who do. The decision does state the intention to revisit related issues, such as the locational value of such generation, in 2019.

The CPUC largely adopted the proposed decision issued by a CPUC Administrative Law Judge in December 2015 and can be found by clicking the link here.

The successor NEM program takes effect for new NEM customers after the utilities’ existing NEM program participation caps are met, or by July 1, 2017, whichever occurs first. The utilities are required to submit new tariffs in compliance with the decision within 30 days.

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Related Services

Insights

California Statute Offers Dramatic Change to Independent Contractor, Franchise-Franchisee Relationships
20 September 2019
Legal News: Distribution & Franchise
AI Ouch! AI Job Interview Law Starting in 2020!
20 September 2019
Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog
RCE PTA Carve-Out Resumes After Interference
18 September 2019
PharmaPatents
The Ninth Circuit Expected to Rule that Doctors Can Be Wrong in the Winter v. Gardens False Claims Act Case
18 September 2019
Legal News: Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations
Lacktman, Ferrante Cited in mHealth Intelligence About Ryan Haight Act
19 September 2019
mHealth Intelligence
Vernaglia Comments on AHA v Azar Decision
18 September 2019
MedPage Today
Tinnen Discusses How Viewpoint Diversity Helps Businesses Thrive
18 September 2019
InsideTrack
Lach Comments on Launch of New Group
16 September 2019
BizTimes Milwaukee
MedTech Impact Expo & Conference
13-15 December 2019
Las Vegas, NV
Review of 2020 Medicare Changes for Telehealth
11 December 2019
Member Call
BRG Healthcare Leadership Conference
06 December 2019
Washington, D.C.
CTeL Telehealth Fall Summit 2019
04-06 December 2019
Washington, D.C.