On Thursday, December 15, 2022, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adopted a new Net Billing (NEM3) decision that will change how new solar customers are compensated for export credits (solar energy that goes back to the grid for later use by that household). The CPUC voted to cut the average export rate in California, and specifically for PG&E customers, from $0.35 per kWh to $0.05 per kWh, effective on April 15, 2023.
The CPUC decision includes a 120-day transition window for solar installers to submit solar contracts and required paperwork to PG&E on or before Friday, April 14, 2023, for customers to still get on the NEM2 billing plan. Time is of the essence!!
Now that the decision has been made, let’s break down how this impacts people with solar and those looking at getting or adding solar to their homes.
New Rooftop Solar installations – should ACT NOW to get on NEM2.
Households signing a solar contract before the deadline will benefit from a better return on your investment with the NEM2 billing plan with a 20-year grandfather window, locking you into this plan through 2043.
What this means is that before April 14, 2023, you need to sign a solar contract and other qualifying paperwork, and Clean Solar (and all solar installers) must also submit a single line diagram, basically a blue print of exactly what your solar system will look like, in order to be in the queue to receive NEM2 with PG&E. There can be no errors or material modifications to any of the paperwork before your installation, if there is, you will likely end up with NEM3. (NEM3 is not the end of the world, it’s just not as financially beneficial.)
Contact your Clean Solar Energy Consultant today to expedite the process. Please do not wait until the last minute to move forward with your solar installation. We are expecting a larger than usual volume of quote and contract requests and being such a customer centric company, we want to be able to help all who reach out to us.
This is also true for new solar home mandate solar installations, included Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU). The decision allows for up to a 3-year window to complete the solar installation.
Battery installations at any point in the future will not impact your Net Billing plan, only your solar installation.
Adding Solar to an Existing System or a New ADU
Clean Solar advises that if you’re looking to add more solar to your existing system that you follow the guidelines above for New Solar Installations because NEM2 will be a better Net Billing plan than NEM3 for you.
When a household with solar wants to add more solar, their Net Billing plan changes to the current plan in place on the day they receive PTO for the add-on system. The 20-year grandfathering of the initial NEM date stays in place even with the add-on solar system.
If you installed solar in 2014, you are on NEM1 and you are grandfathered on this plan until 2034 unless you add more solar. If you sign a solar contract and qualifying paperwork is submitted to PG&E on or before April 14, 2023, then you move to the current NEM2 billing plan, until 2034. (The term of your initial PTO date.) In 2034, you will be moved to the current Net Billing plan.
Homes that Already have Solar and are Not Planning to Add More Solar
Households that currently have solar on their homes in PG&E territory are either on NEM1 or NEM2 billing plans. Your current plan will not change in 2023. Your export credits will remain at the full retail value of the time that they generated.
From the date that you received Permission to Operate (PTO) from PG&E, you have 20 years that you will be on this plan, NEM1 or NEM2. Your PTO date is after your final inspection of the rooftop solar installation.
At the end of 20 years, you will transition to whatever the current Net Billing plan is, where the assumption is that you have more than recouped your initial solar investment.