Kill a Thriving Solar Market – ( Solar Thermal Magazine)
In the state of California, Turlock Irrigation District wants to eliminate its solar potential by ceasing its solar net metering program. Net metering is a fundamental policy that gives rooftop solar customers fair credit for their excess solar energy. Without net metering, a thriving solar market and robust solar job creation cannot exist.
Ending net metering means wiping out the savings that TID solar customers will be able to earn from their solar systems. TID’s net metering elimination program harms solar customers in the following way:
1. Eliminates the most fundamental solar policy – net metering – which exists in 44 states including California.
2. Imposes a discriminatory fee on residential solar customers – the first of its kind in California.
3. Charges customers a new $600 meter fee before TID will allow a system to operate.
“It appears that this new billing structure will render solar financially nonviable for TID customers, which will hinder us from taking advantage of green energy in the future,” said John Miller of Miller Farms, Inc., a TID customer.
This is unfortunate because we believe that anything we can do to improve our business, the local economy, and our environment at the same time is good for all parties involved.
“TID’s new solar billing structure appears to have a major impact on savings that TID customers can achieve with solar,” said Todd Filbrun, CEO of Kurios Energy, a Manteca solar company.
Keeping utility consumers informed on what options they will have to recoup these savings, such as battery back-up or off-grid solar systems, will be important moving forward.
Whether the end of net metering for TID customers will be permanent remains to be seen. There is already legislation introduced in the California State Senate (SB 550) that aims for statewide standardization in how municipal utilities calculate their net metering caps. TID is choosing a cap calculation that limits net metering. If SB 550 passes, TID will be under the cap and their program must continue. This would conform TID’s net metering cap calculation to what is currently required of California’s investor owned utilities, approximately doubling the number of net metering systems that TID must allow.
TID will be holding a public hearing to discuss the future net metering on March 31, 2015 at 9 a.m.
Contact: Susan Glick, +1-415-580-6874 – The Alliance for Solar Choice- [email protected]
SOURCE The Alliance for Solar Choice
TID is one of only four irrigation districts in California that provides irrigation water as well as electric retail energy directly to homes, farms and businesses.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.