The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is currently working on a proceeding to develop a successor tariff for net energy metering (NEM), which allows utility customers with solar PV systems or other distributed generation technologies to receive credit for the excess energy that they supply to the grid.
Assembly Bill (AB) 327 requires California’s three investor-owned utilities to offer NEM until either July 1, 2017, or the date at which the utility reaches a 5% NEM program cap, whichever is earliest. The cap represents 5% of total peak customer demand within the utility service territory.
This is the progress of each utility toward reaching the 5% NEM cap as of May 2015. Information on progress toward the cap is reported to the CPUC monthly and can be found on each utility’s website.
Customers who install a solar generating facility before the utility reaches its NEM cap or July 1, 2017, will be grandfathered into the current NEM tariff for a period of 20 years from their interconnection date. As indicated, SDG&E is closest to reaching the 5% cap but is not expected to do so until mid-2016. Customers should keep this in mind when considering whether to install solar PV this year. However, future changes to NEM should not be used to justify high-pressure sales situations.
AB 327 also directs the CPUC to develop a NEM successor tariff for eligible customer generators no later than December 31, 2015. The CPUC is currently reviewing proposals from industry and utility stakeholders. To find more information about the status of this proceeding and to join the conversation, visit AB 327: NEM Successor Tariff Workshops or contact Shannon O’Rourke at Shannon.O’Rourke@cpuc.ca.gov or (415) 703-5574.