Changes to net metering are on the way. Southern California Edison is now in the process of passing out NEM 1.0, initiating NEM 2.0. NEM 2.0 will have fewer solar incentives and new rate charges. Net Metering 1.0 is expected to reach its cap by July 1st, which means that homeowners considering going solar need to get their solar installed before the cap is reached to be grandfathered in on Net Metering 1.0. Co-owner of local and veteran owned Semper Solaris, John Almond, explains Net Metering this way, “Net Metering 1.0 is a list that has a cap. Once that cap is reached, you can’t be on Net Metering 1.0. The list is full. It is important to go solar before the list fills up in order to get the best incentives.” All NEM 2.0 customers are put on a TOU (Time of Use) schedule, and charged higher rates for energy usage during peak hours. This especially affects anyone who runs their air conditioning, or families who stay home for a portion of the day. Solar customers who don’t get their solar installed in time to be grandfathered in on NEM 1.0 will be credited lower amounts if their solar panel system is producing extra. NEM 2.0 also includes a new interconnection fee. As co-owner of the fastest growing solar company in California, John Almond makes solar simple for his customers.
“Solar is a math problem, with an obvious answer. With current prices as low as they are, there will likely never be a better time to go solar.” Especially as Southern California Edison is nearing the cap for Net Metering 1.0, going solar sooner, rather than later, just makes sense. Customers that go solar before NEM 1.0 changes are grandfathered in, and receive the best solar incentives for 20 years. NEM 2.0 starts July 1, 2017—or once Southern California Energy reaches a cap in energy usage for NEM this year. If anyone installs solar panels before then, they are guaranteed a spot on the original NEM program plan. That means that now is an urgent time to install solar—before these new changes go into effect. Those interested in solar panels need to install as soon as possible, because SCE could certainly reach their energy cap before July 1st—and the panels need to be installed and approved before the cap is reached.
The Net Metering changes also come on the heels of a new high usage fee instituted by several California electricity companies. The 2017 high usage surcharge comes after historic rate increase in 2016. With all these factors in mind, now is a better time than ever for homeowners to go solar, reduce their electricity bills, avoid rate increases, and lock in their solar incentives. For homeowners that want to install solar and guarantee their placement on the NEM 1.0 list, there are several factors to consider when choosing a solar contractor. The California Solar Initiative (CPUC) and the California Energy Commission recommend choosing a contractor that is accredited, certified, well established, and who has a strong rating with the Better Business Bureau.