In the lead-up to California regulators’ final vote on the next round of the state net-metering (NEM) program, Torrance, Calif.-based solar installer Verengo Solar and Torrance City Council Member Tim Goodrich have turned in over 200 petitions from Torrance residential solar users and veterans in support of the existing policies.
Much to the chagrin of the state’s investor-owned utilities (IOUs), the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a proposed decision in December regarding the new version of the state’s net-metering program, referred to as NEM 2.0. The proposed decision would keep the current NEM rates.
The IOUs have been pushing to slash NEM rates and impose new fees for solar customers, and the power companies recently redoubled their efforts and proposed what they consider a compromise.
According to a CPUC filing, the IOUs are now suggesting a fixed export compensation rate of 15 cents/kWh for all installations prior to reaching 7% of the IOUs’ aggregate customer peak demand, and 13 cents/kWh after that. Although those rates are higher than what the utilities first proposed, they are still below current rates.
The CPUC is expected to make its final decision as early as this Thursday. Therefore, Verengo Solar and Goodrich teamed up to hand in the aforementioned petitions to Allison Brown and Steven Klaiber of the CPUC’s public advisors’ office.
“SCE and the other major utilities PG&E and SDG&E have been pushing the CPUC to make solar expensive for Californians by eliminating net metering and adding unfair fees,” says Verengo CEO Anders Dahl. “Fortunately, last month the CPUC administrators published a draft decision that for the most part rejected the utilities’ misleading assertions and affirmed that net metering is right for California energy consumers.
“Now the utilities have come back with a new ‘counter proposal,’ again attempting to cripple the industry – which is what makes the final full commission vote this week so critical and why we thought it was important to add our petitions to the tens of thousands of Californians who have spoken up for the principal of net metering.”
“As a Torrance council member, it’s my job to stand up against bad policies that impact the citizens I represent,” says Goodrich.
Photo courtesy of Verengo Solar: Councilman Goodrich (center) presents the NEM petitions to Brown (right) and Klaiber (left) in the Los Angeles CPUC office.