The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

New Study Shows Net Metering Is Financial Benefit, Not Burden, to Ratepayers

For years, we've been making the case that in addition to the environmental benefits, solar also adds value to the grid. How much value? This week, we released a commissioned report to look at both the costs and benefits of net metering in California.

The study was done by Tom Beach of Crossborder Energy, who used actual data from 10,000 solar systems and analytic models from the CPUC.  The report found that when California reaches its current net metering cap of 5% of non-coincident peak load (at about 5.2 GW of solar), the benefits of net-metered projects will exceed the costs by about $92 million annually, across the three large investor-owned utility territories in the state.  That’s a great deal for ratepayers, and good news for the planet.

Take a look.  Here it is, in all its wonky glory (along with a snazzy summary fact sheet): Evaluating the Benefits and Costs of Net Energy Metering in California, Crossborder Energy, January 2013

If you want to learn more, we are hosting a webinar today, Wednesday, to discuss the methodology and results.  Register here (we’ll also post a recording after it is done).

We are releasing this report during a time when we are seeing increasing pushback from utilities around customer-owned solar.  It’s our hope that by doing so, we can contribute to a fact-based discussion on the value of solar to the state.

A couple of other thoughts on the subject:

First, we note that investor-owned utilities in the state are given a monopoly in return for serving the public good.  Every utility in the state is making a profit off that monopoly.  Yet, despite progress, not a single one has a procurement plan sufficient to deal with climate change.  In this context, we believe that if a customer wants to use their own money to install a 100% renewable power system, utilities should be doing all they can to help, not hinder.

We’d also  like to note that utilities have fought every other way for an owner of a rooftop solar system to get fair value for the power that it generates.  Feed-in tariffs?  Fought bitterly.  How about payment for any excess generation from net metered systems? In 2009, the CA legislature passed a law (AB 920 — pdf) requiring utilities to pay “just and reasonable compensation for the value of net surplus electricity” from net metered systems that produce more than the owners load over a year.  Utilities’ idea of ‘just and reasonable’? According to them, it’s day ahead market prices for brown power.  We fought it, but they won — net surplus generation gets compensated at around 4 cents per kWh.  For emission-free, climate-change-fighting, on-peak power delivered inside of distribution networks, right at load.  That doesn’t seem like fair value to us.

So not only are the utilities attacking net metering, but they have also systematically closed all other avenues.  Some call net metering ‘rough justice.’  We say rough justice is better than no justice at all.

This article was originally published on the Vote Solar Blog and was republished with permission.

Lead image: Electric meter dials via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Stolen Solar Panels and Sabotage A Challenge for Powering India With Renewable Energy

Anindya Upadhyay, Bloomberg Disappointment spread across Tarun Singh’s face when he saw that parts of his solar power microgrid in eastern India’...

States Already Seek To Delay Clean Power Plan

Andrew Harris, Bloomberg Fifteen states led by coal-rich West Virginia asked a federal court to stall Obama administration rules intended to c...

Suntech Parent Company Buys Majority Share of US-based Suniva

Ehren Goossens Shunfeng International Clean Energy Ltd., the Hong Kong-based solar company controlled by billionaire Zheng Jianming,...

Sunrise in Pakistan as the Country Delves into Solar PV

Robert Harker Pakistan has joined the list of countries that are exploring solar power as a means to bridge critical energy generat...

PRESS RELEASES

OFS Announces Commercial Availability of InvisiLight® MDU Optical Solution for Multiple Dwelling Units

OFS, a leading-edge designer, manufacturer and supplier of innovative fiber optic netwo...

Intersolar AWARD „Solar Projects in India“ – Applications being accepted until September 18

The Intersolar AWARD in the category Solar Projects in India honors projects in the fie...

New local energy partnership brings innovative solar tracker to Washington State

A new partnership will bring the innovative AllEarth Solar Tracker solar electric syste...

30 days to GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has announced that it is only 30 days to go to t...

FEATURED BLOGS

Cronimet / THEnergy study: In solar for mines size does not always matter - Reducing CAPEX with energy efficiency and load shifting

Munich, September 2015. Mining companies are constantly gaining interest in solar solutions because frequently solar ...

Final Program Now Available for GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo - Final Program from

Vacancy? No Problem!

Have you ever tried to sell an efficiency product or service to a prospect that owns or manages a building with high ...

Shedding Some Light on a Taxing Situation for Community-Shared Solar

For renters and for property owners with inadequate roof space, the many benefits of solar electricity may seem out o...

FINANCIAL NEWS

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Intersolar North America 2016

Exhibition: July 12 - 14, 2016; Conference: July 11 - 13, 2016 Intersola...

Intersolar South America 2015

Exhibition and Conference: September 1-3, 2015 Intersolar South America ...

Intersolar Europe 2016

Exhibition: June 22-24, 2016; Conference: June 21-22, 2016 Intersolar Eu...

COMPANY BLOGS

The Proof Is Not Always In The Pudding

One of the best ways to turn a skeptical prospect into a buyer is to giv...

Pushing Beyond The Cushion

Efficiency projects are all too often viewed as “optional” o...

Less Is More

When you’re giving a presentation, one of the easiest things to do...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS