The much debated Net Energy Metering (NEM) 3.0 proposal by California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) continues to meet resistance from homeowners, solar panel companies, local businesses & organizations – and now politicians. The CPUC closed public comment on their proposal on July 1st, and records show that more than 100 government leaders, including mayors, city & government councils, and official city resolutions, have signed on to urge CPUC to drop the increased fees and reduced credit for residential solar panels that come with NEM 3.0.
NEM 3.0: bad news for solar homes
The backlash from the public is due to the fact that CPUCs NEM 3.0 proposal includes high fees for homeowners with solar and lower payments from the utility companies for surplus energy sent back to the grid. This makes solar panels for homes more expensive – and even unattainable for many working-class residents across the state. The reduction in solar savings is predicted to reach up to 71% if NEM 3.0 gets approved, raising the question: Are solar panels worth it under NEM 3.0?
Among the comments were pleas and statements highlighting the importance of continuing the clean energy momentum that California is currently having. Some addressed governor Gavin Newsom directly to remind him of the state’s goal to have 60 percent renewable energy in California by 2030:
The CPUC “threatens to kill rooftop solar in CA with cost-prohibitive fees,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose. “Gavin Newsom, now is not the time to lose California’s clean energy leadership.”
“This is the wrong approach when our City and State goals tell us we need to accelerate our clean energy transition,” wrote the City Council of City of Petaluma.
A significant setback for California as the green energy leader
If NEM 3.0 is put into effect, it could be the downfall of solar energy. And without the competition from renewable energy sources, the utilities will become monopolies, giving Californians no choice but to pay the increasingly high utility prices.
“NEM 3.0 goes against everything California has been working towards for years now. If buying solar panels is no longer feasible, neither is the state’s 100% clean energy goal. And while the utilities claim NEM 3.0 is beneficial for everyone, in reality, it only benefits them,” said Rainier de Ocampo, VP of marketing at Solar Optimum.
The CPUC will review all the comments and make its decision as soon as the end of this month. If they decide to move forward with NEM 3.0, it is a good idea for homeowners who are thinking about going solar to act fast to make the most of their solar panel investment. In addition, adding battery storage to existing and future solar systems is a great way to make the most of your solar panels and ensure greater savings in the future.
Solar Optimum can help you with any questions you might have about solar and NEM 3.0. Contact one of our Energy Consultants today for a free consultation and solar quote.