Why Do You Need NEM 3.0?


In a few weeks, California will select new solar electricity tariffs for households and businesses. In prior modifications, utilities decreased customer payments, decreasing the benefits of solar for property owners and stalling California’s move to sustainable energy. Utilities propose additional monthly costs of $1000-$3600 per 250 kW systems. New residential costs are $75 per month. Multiple parties suggest reducing NEM credits by 55%-80%. MYNT has expertise in building solar systems that optimize value for owners and developers, yet millions of Californians will be hurt. Climate change, sustainable energy, and energy democracy interested readers are asked to remark.

Net metering lets clients receive utility credit for power exported to the grid. The utility credits the energy-generating customer’s monthly energy bill, saving them money. Customers with a properly sized system have minimal to no energy bills at the end of the year.

Why Would Utilities Block California’s Path To 100% Clean Energy?

NEM 1.0 gave users one-for-one credit for solar power in 2013. Every kWh exported was subtracted from grid consumption. NEM 1.0 was designed to stimulate solar adoption and assist the electric grid during the summer’s hottest hours when air cooling consumption is greatest. To fulfill midday demand, utilities would have had to import expensive energy, reducing their profit margins. Once enough solar was deployed to balance demand, utilities no longer benefitted. Rooftop solar decreases the need to maintain power lines since it keeps electricity in the neighborhood where it’s produced. Building and maintaining electrical lines guarantees utilities an 8%-10% return. Californians will spend $9B on long-distance electricity lines and wildfire prevention in 2021.

When 5% of a utility’s grid was powered by solar, no more customers could go solar. Through solar enthusiasts’ campaigning, the cap was lifted and replaced by NEM 2.0 in 2017. Under NEM 2.0, exported energy incurs “non-by passable costs.” These fees fund low-income bill assistance, energy efficiency, and wildfire mitigation. Customers sell power to the utility for 2 /kWh less than they buy it. This might reduce consumer benefits by 20%. Other fees and time limits reduced benefits. Additional net metering adjustments might devalue export credits and add monthly costs for solar consumers.

What’s New?

According to NEM 3.0, 70% of California voters want more solar energy. Why are utilities seeking to eliminate financial incentives for solar? Of course, for profit. The utilities say the existing NEM approach subsidizes customer-generated solar, transferring expenses to non-solar users. They’re devoted to growing earnings by installing and maintaining electricity lines (a guaranteed 8-10%), despite the state’s environmental concerns. Californians will spend $9B in 2021 on power lines and wildfires. Rooftop solar decreases the need to maintain power lines by keeping electricity in the neighborhood where it’s produced, cutting into the utility’s biggest profit source. California is a pioneer in energy policy; what happens here will impact how the rest of the country establishes Net Energy Metering rules, so we must inform policymakers that energy independence is crucial to our communities.

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