How New Solar Laws Will Affect New PV Systems
New solar laws for California will be taking affect around October/November this year and we wanted to fill you in on how these laws will affect new solar projects going forward. The law pertains to Net Energy Metering (NEM) and describes the rules that both utilities and customers must follow for grid-tied PV systems. The overall news is that nothing drastic has changed and net metering is alive and well in California.
First, customers are now allowed to install more than 1 MW on their property. Now there is no maximum on system size for those large users like food processors, etc. However, large systems may require electrical service upgrades and those costs will be the responsibility of the customer and not the utility.
Second, for customers that produce more electricity than they use during peak times, they will be charged a very small fee to the utility for the over-produced electricity. The fee is called a Non-Bypassable Charge (NBC) and it goes to fund various public purpose programs like energy efficiency and nuclear decommissioning. This figure will likely only represent 1%-2% of the monthly savings, and will only apply in certain cases.
Third, existing solar customers and those who will likely interconnect in the next 6-8 weeks will be grandfathered in to the existing NEM laws and will not be affected by the NBC charges even if they over produce during peak times.
For more information please feel free to reach out to your Spectrum representative or read more analysis from our partners at the California Solar Energy Industry Association (CALSEIA).