For the past year or so, San Diego homeowners have been hearing about changes in solar rules being sought by the utilities that would possibly make solar less economical. While it’s true that “Net Metering 1.0” will become history sometime in the coming weeks, the state Public Utilities Commission has spoken clearly on the utilities’ proposed changes and it looks like their answer will be a resounding, “NO!”
Nearly every rule change (or added cost) sought by the utility industry in California was turned down by the PUC in recent comments (and pending a final vote on June 23). The good news is that “Net Metering 2.0” will look very similar to “Net Metering 1.0” – so any homeowner waiting on the sidelines should not be fearful of installing solar panels.
As Stellar Solar Sales Manager Dave Gersz puts it: “Using your own rooftop to produce your own solar power will always be a better investment than giving all your money to the utility.” Meanwhile, Stellar Solar has kept abreast of the few changes that have been made due to Net Metering 2.0 and solar customers should be aware of them:
In SDG&E territory, there will be a one-time solar connection fee of $132. Most solar firms (including Stellar Solar) are planning to absorb this cost, so there will be virtually no change for customers.Solar customers will eventually move to a Time-of-Use rate structure, which will bill customers based on when power is used, as opposed to the current rate tiers based on total monthly usage. Many Electric Vehicle owners have already elected to use TOU rates.
Solar customers will no longer be able to avoid paying public purpose charges. These charges help pay for low-income bill assistance, nuclear decommissioning and energy efficiency programs. We estimate that these charges will add $5-9 per month for most residential solar customers.
“Support for rooftop solar continues to be strong in San Diego and throughout the state,” said Stellar Solar president Kent Harle. “And we appreciate our past and future customers taking time to voice their support in Sacramento on individual energy choice and clean energy.” Harle added, “If you’re thinking of going solar, make your move now. In a month or two, summer’s usual high energy bills lead to a seasonal crunch and longer installation times,” he explained. “But if you sign up now with our Fast Track program, we can install your solar panels in 30 days or less.”