Kalifornia about to kill net metering if AB 1138 continues passing

mike95490

Solar Enthusiast
AB 1139 passed out of the utility hearing yesterday and there's little reason to believe it will not pass thru the full house and senate this year. I suspect this will come as a surprise to the liberal / woke individuals who have invested in solar.
petitions to oppose https://www.savecaliforniasolar.org/

It will (if passed as is):
Text excerpts from AB 1139:

(b) The commission shall require all electrical corporations to submit by advice letter a standard net energy metering contract or tariff that shall take effect beginning on July 1, 2022, and apply to all customer self-generators. The standard contract or tariff shall replace all prior standard contracts and tariffs and shall provide for all of the following:

(1) The customer self-generator shall be credited for any electricity exported by the customer self-generator to the distribution system or transmission system, as applicable, at a rate equal to the hourly wholesale market rate applicable at the time of the export and the location of the customer self-generator. These credits shall be applied to the customer self-generator’s other bill obligations.

(2) The customer self-generator shall be charged for electricity imported by the customer self-generator from the distribution system or transmission system, as applicable, at a rate equal to the otherwise applicable tariff for customers in the same class of service who are not customer self-generators.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), for customer self-generators taking energy supply service from a community choice aggregator, the aggregator may determine to provide credits and charges in different amounts.

(4) Notwithstanding the limitations of subdivision (f) of Section 739.9, the customer self-generator shall be charged a monthly grid access charge equal to the costs attributable to the customer’s gross electricity usage billed at the otherwise applicable rates for all elements of retail service except for generation, including all nonbypassable charges, such as those authorized by Sections 366.1, 366.2, and 380, minus the amount the customer paid for nongeneration elements of retail service paid as part of the rate for imported electricity.

(5) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) through (4), inclusive, any customer self-generator that previously began service under a net energy metering contract or tariff prior to January 1, 2022, may continue to take service under that contract or tariff as follows

(A) If the original net energy metering interconnection was prior to January 1, 2014, a customer self-generator may continue to take service under that contract or tariff until July 1, 2022.
(B) If the original net energy metering interconnection was after January 1, 2014, and prior to January 1, 2017, a customer self-generator may continue to take service under that contract or tariff until July 1, 2023.
(C) If the original net energy metering interconnection was after January 1, 2017, and prior to January 1, 2022, a customer self-generator may continue to take service under that contract or tariff until July 1, 2024.
 
D

Deleted member 23531

Guest
Welcome, Mike. Can you explain how this changes the current situation? I thought PG&E already required you to switch to a time-of-use net metering plan when you get rooftop solar. Meaning, any net usage you have above your solar production is charged at some predefined time-of-use rate schedule. Or, are you talking about a net-exporter of energy such as someone with a lot of panels? I know PG&E has changed the plans a few times over the years and some people are on "grandfathered" plans which are already scheduled to expire in a couple years.
 
D

Deleted member 23531

Guest
So to me it reads that section (b)(4) would make there be a minimum floor to your utility bill, if there was not one already. If you're grid connected, this makes sense although I'm curious how this is different from the current situation. It sounds like it is saying you can't use your energy production to offset the non-generation parts of your bill (like transmission costs), only to offset the generation costs.
 

time2roll

Photon Sorcerer
My system has paid for itself twice over. I accept the continuing return might be lower than it is today. Mine has been exceptionally good.
Will be interesting where this goes and how much pushback it gets. Especially with mandated panels on new homes.
 

solar8484

Solar Enthusiast
The proposal basically adds higher minimum fees and reduces NEM benefits by up to 90% for residential solar. The worst part, to me, is that they want to renege on NEM 1/2 customers who had 20 year guarantee in their contracts. I don't believe Hawaii or Nevada POCO's tried to screw their customers this bad when they ended NEM. I certainly wouldn't trust any new contacts they come up with if they can just cancel at any time.
 
D

Deleted member 23531

Guest
reduces NEM benefits
How does it reduce the benefits? (Not arguing, really just asking).

I suppose it could
- add fixed costs like transmission which can't be offset by production credits
or
- reduce the price at which you sell energy to the utility (if you are an exporter of energy at any given time of day)
or
- something else?

Just wondering where this "reduces the benefits by 90%" number comes from or if it's just hyperbole.
 

solar8484

Solar Enthusiast
How does it reduce the benefits? (Not arguing, really just asking).

I suppose it could
- add fixed costs like transmission which can't be offset by production credits
or
- reduce the price at which you sell energy to the utility (if you are an exporter of energy at any given time of day)
or
- something else?

Just wondering where this "reduces the benefits by 90%" number comes from or if it's just hyperbole.

The proposal calls for using wholesale instead of retail rate for NEM export. Wholesale rate can be as low as ~10% of the peak hour TOU retail rate.
 
D

Deleted member 23531

Guest
It is already not compensated at retail rates (for excess production), unless you're talking about some plan that existed more than 10 years ago...

Retail rate is about $0.30/kWh, about 10x higher than the current compensation rate. So this brings me back to my original question about how this is different from the current situation with PG&E.

1619552021290.png
 

solar8484

Solar Enthusiast
It is already not compensated at retail rates (for excess production), unless you're talking about some plan that existed more than 10 years ago...

Retail rate is about $0.30/kWh, about 10x higher than the current compensation rate. So this brings me back to my original question about how this is different from the current situation with PG&E.

View attachment 46948

Not talking about excess production at true-up. It's about regular NEM export.
 
D

Deleted member 23531

Guest
Maybe you could explain it to me. It was my understanding that "regular NEM export" is also compensated at generation cost, not at retail purchase pricing of electricity.

To me it makes sense that:
- generation has a value at any given time of day, and any generator should get that price. It's likely driven by wholesale prices since it's a competitive market for electricity production
- consumption has a price at any given time of day, and you should pay that price for whatever your instantaneous net usage is ("net" meaning consumption minus production).

I don't see where in this language that philosophy is not followed. I agree that one section about minimum fees is just a money grab...but don't understand the net-metering issue you have with the bill.
 

solar8484

Solar Enthusiast
Maybe you could explain it to me. It was my understanding that "regular NEM export" is also compensated at generation cost, not at retail purchase pricing of electricity.

To me it makes sense that:
- generation has a value at any given time of day, and any generator should get that price. It's likely driven by wholesale prices since it's a competitive market for electricity production
- consumption has a price at any given time of day, and you should pay that price for whatever your instantaneous net usage is ("net" meaning consumption minus production).

I don't see where in this language that philosophy is not followed. I agree that one section about minimum fees is just a money grab...but don't understand the net-metering issue you have with the bill.

No, regular NEM export simply causes the electric meter to spin backwards and generate credits at the retail rate (at least for PG&E) at the time of export that is used towards later consumption in any given true-up period.

I have no problem with new NEM contract terms for new installs but as I explained previously they are proposing to cancel existing NEM 1/2 contracts that have 20 year guarantees. That's breach of contract.
 
D

Deleted member 23531

Guest
I see, so your concern with this bill is affecting people who have NEM1/2 plans and it's trying to phase them out earlier than planned. Well if you're financially affected by that you should lobby the CPUC and/or state representatives! I thought all TOU plans involved lower buyback rates for excess production, but I guess that's not the case, now that I'm reading about it.

To me, we shouldn't be paying anyone retail rates for generation as that's just raising everyone's rates unnecessarily now that solar is well established and has been pushed down the price curve. [Probably a bigger thing raising everyone's rates is PG&E being a for-profit company though]. So, personally I would rather we phase out those lucrative generation credits (sorry!). Having said that, I understand that would be unfair to those who have a contract and built solar assuming the price would stay attractive forever.

I bet if it passed, the bill would get litigated, but I also think the government has the authority to change these kinds of things. I know other states phased out the super-generous net metering credits in the last decade or so, and there wasn't a legal challenge that defeated those efforts.
 

solar8484

Solar Enthusiast
Not forever. Just the contract terms. Other states that phased out NEM for new installations did not renege on existing contracts. You seem to think government should have the authority to just cancel contracts? Sorry I don't agree.
 
D

Deleted member 23531

Guest
Not forever. Just the contract terms. Other states that phased out NEM for new installations did not renege on existing contracts. You seem to think government should have the authority to just cancel contracts? Sorry I don't agree.
Yeah, I was exaggerating for emphasis. I guess it depends on the language of the contract, but yes contracts are found to be invalid in court or invalidated by new legislation all the time!
 

time2roll

Photon Sorcerer
If all exported power is wholesale rather than net metered I am not sure why the minimum fee would also be needed.
I mean if we are selling at 3 cents and the neighbor is buying at 30 cents is that not enough profit?
Just going to promote batteries to store our own power to use at off solar time.
 

solar8484

Solar Enthusiast
If all exported power is wholesale rather than net metered I am not sure why the minimum fee would also be needed.
I mean if we are selling at 3 cents and the neighbor is buying at 30 cents is that not enough profit?
Just going to promote batteries to store our own power to use at off solar time.

POCO's are counting on naive consumers to believe in the unfair cost shift argument. It's a farce to position NEM as a major contributor of continued high and increasing utility rates. The more realistic reason is the POCO's don't want to lose control of power generation and profits and will likely try to penalize distributed energy resources they don't control like home solar and batteries as much as possible. In CA, it's illegal for almost all homes to be completed disconnected from the grid so it doesn't matter how many batteries you have POCO's do and will charge various fees even if you don't use any grid power.

If POCO's really believe unfair cost shift is a major problem then they should build more grid energy storage so excess energy from home solar can be shared with all grid consumers even if they don't have solar. Grid energy storage would also improve resiliency for all grid consumers. If POCO's want to charge home solar owners higher fees for such solutions then I would be more supportive.
 

jasonhc73

Cat herder, and dog toy tosser.
thanks for writing all this up. strongly incentivizes me to continue to avoid grid tie net metering like the plague
Solar Stingy, Sol-Ark can be set that way.

Any Off-Grid setup where you use the A/C input as the "Grid-Line", and only as a "generator".

Time to start figuring out battery backup and off-grid generation and storage.
 
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