CPUC reopens NEM 3.0 proceeding, seeks public input

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced on May 9 it is “reopening the record” on its NEM 3.0 proceeding in order to gather information on some specific elements of the decision. The record reopening delays a proposed decision from the CPUC on NEM 3.0 until July at the earliest.

For over a year the CPUC has considered changes to net energy metering backed by utility interests. The CPUC’s initial proposed decision, which included a steep tax on rooftop solar and an immediate gutting of the credits solar consumers receive, would have made solar unaffordable for most consumers, especially those in working- and middle-class neighborhoods where solar is growing fastest. It would also hurt the commercial, government and agricultural solar markets. The unpopular proposed decision was shelved for an indefinite amount of time after intense backlash and public disapproval from Governor Newsom.

According to ROTH Capital Partners, the CPUC is now accepting comments regarding the glide path approach, non-bypassable charges and community DERs. The CPUC is seeking input on an alternative glide path that would give customers a fixed export adder in addition to the avoided cost calculator (ACC) rate. The export adder would step down over time.

Opening comments in response to the ALJ’s questions are due by June 10 and reply comments are due no later than June 24.

Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar & Storage Association, issued the following statement on the ruling from the CPUC:

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

“At the same time, we know utility special interests have a lot of power and a significant profit motive in stopping competition from rooftop solar. And, to be clear, a solar tax appears to still be on the table. We will continue to make sure no one is fooled again by the utility profit grab that makes electricity more expensive for everyone and halts California’s grid resilience and clean energy progress.”

News item from CALSSA

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