CPUC reopens NEM 3.0 proceeding, seeks public input

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced on May 9 that it is “reopening the record” about its NEM 3.0 lawsuit to gather information on some specific elements of the decision. The record reopening will delay a proposed decision by the CPUC on NEM 3.0 until July at the earliest.

For over a year now, the CPUC has been considering changes in net energy metering, supported by utility interests. The CPUC’s initial proposed decision, which included a high tax on rooftop solar and an immediate elimination of the credits solar consumers receive, would have made solar unaffordable for most consumers, especially those in working- and middle-class neighborhoods where solar energy grows fastest. It would also hurt the commercial, government and agricultural solar markets. The unpopular proposed decision was shelved indefinitely after fierce opposition and public disapproval from Governor Newsom.

According to ROTH Capital Partners, the CPUC is now accepting comments on the glide path approach, non-bridgeable costs and community DERs. The CPUC is seeking input on an alternative glide slope that would give customers a fixed export adder in addition to the Avoided Cost Calculator (ACC) rate. The export adder would resign over time.

Opening responses in response to the group’s questions must be submitted by June 10, and responses to the response must be submitted by June 24.

Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar & Storage Association, issued the following statement regarding the CPUC’s ruling:

“Our large and diverse coalition of solar supporters is pleased that the CPUC has recognized how far the first proposed decision was out of step with California’s clean energy goals and equity values. Californians strongly support rooftop solar and will not accept a decision that will tax the sun or delay our state’s clean energy progress by making solar unaffordable.”

“At the same time, we know that utility special interests have a lot of power and a significant profit motive to stop the competition from rooftop solar. And just to be clear, there seems to be another solar tax on the table. We will continue to make sure that no one will be fooled again by utility profit motives making electricity more expensive for everyone and halting California’s resilience and clean energy progress.”

News item from CALSSA

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