NEM3 has officially passed.
The California Public Utilities Commission has dealt a major blow to the solar energy industry by passing a decision with a 5-0 vote. However, we must continue to fight for the jobs, livelihoods, and future of clean energy. Who is with me in this effort?
Despite the CPUC's rejection of the solar tax, they did not adopt a fair NEM-3 policy. While the decision could have been worse, it is still not satisfactory. We must not be naive about the challenges we face, but we must also continue to fight for a fair and just outcome.
The utilities and their supporters exerted immense pressure on the Commission, as evidenced by the over $40 million that utilities have spent on this issue over the past three years. This represents a significant imbalance, with the solar industry being outspent by a ratio of 10 to 1. Despite having a coalition of over 600 organizations and a record amount of public support for clean energy in California, the commissioners had already made their decision. The utilities' immense spending and influence were likely significant factors in this outcome. The revised proposed decision that was adopted today made very few changes from the version that was presented in November. There is no clear path for residential solar to transition to a new rate structure, and no such path for commercial solar either. The value of solar exports is set to decline dramatically, from 30 cents per kilowatt hour to just 5 cents for residential and 3 cents for commercial, starting in April 2023. The commission did agree to delay making changes to the rates for apartment buildings and farms, but the economic prospects for solar energy in schools, churches, businesses, and homes are still facing significant challenges.
In 2022, California saw the installation of 30,000 batteries and 200,000 solar systems. While the decision attempts to prioritize energy storage, it is not possible for batteries to immediately make up for the reduction in solar energy. We have consistently told the commission that we support changes to the NEM policy that encourage the use of energy storage, but it is not feasible to make such a transition overnight. The commission has ignored this reality.
What comes next? If you don't yet have solar then meeting with our friendly advisors to see if you can take advantage of the NEM2 benefits before they are gone is crucial! If you already have solar then you may want to consider adding on before NEM3 takes effect. We will continue to provide a thorough analysis of this decision and discuss the steps we can take moving forward.
The Time To Go Solar Is Now!
Take Advantage of NEM2 Before It's Gone
Submit this form to start the process and keep the benefits of NEM2 before NEM3 takes effect in April.