The Virtual Net Energy Metering program (VNEM) is specifically designed for buildings that have multiple units, such as apartments. If a building generates more solar energy than it consumes, the excess energy is automatically sent back to the power grid. Previously, certain regulations ensured that individuals who invested in solar panels would receive compensation. This applied even to families residing in apartment buildings, allowing them to reduce their electricity costs. Additionally, landlords could also benefit from utilizing solar power. However, if VNEM 3.0 is approved, these circumstances would be altered.
If VNEM 3.0 is implemented, utility companies would gain control over the advantages of solar energy, thereby diminishing the appeal of solar power. This could lead to financial difficulties for individuals with lower incomes and potentially impact California’s leadership in solar energy.
On August 4th, the CPUC proposed new regulations that could make it prohibitively expensive for individuals living in apartment buildings, farms, and schools to enjoy the benefits of rooftop solar panels and battery storage. These proposed rules might prevent apartment buildings from utilizing the solar energy generated by their rooftop panels unless they sell it to the electric company and then repurchase it at a higher cost.