The May 24, 2012 unanimous vote by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) clarifying the methodology for calculating the State’s five percent net metering cap will dramatically expand opportunities for California ratepayers to go solar. The vote brings to an end a discussion initiated by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) in November 2009 concerning how to calculate the cap. IREC worked with numerous organizations including members of the Coalition for Solar Rights in the proceeding.
In the decision, the Commission rejected the more restrictive methodology used by the utilities to calculate the cap which resulted in nearly halving the amount of net metering allowed under current law. Under the more accurate methodology adopted by the Commission, more than two thousand additional megawatts of solar can be installed under the state’s net metering program allowing many more Californians to go solar. To address concerns that net metering may result in significant costs to ratepayers who do not participate in the net metering program, the decision requires a comprehensive evaluation of the costs and benefits of California’s net metering program.
“The CPUC’s decision ensures the nation’s largest solar market will continue to grow and create direct and indirect solar jobs,” said Jane Weissman, Executive Director of IREC.
“We look forward to working with the Commission and all stakeholders to address the issues raised in the decision based on solid data and analysis so we can all collectively support the continued growth of solar in California,” said Joseph Wiedman, partner at Keyes, Fox & Wiedman LLP. IREC was represented in the proceeding by Mr. Wiedman.