Current NEM Rules Cost Californians $12 Million a Day

Posted on May 16, 2022

Sacramento — Every day, 500 additional Californians install solar panels. They join the 1.3 million electricity customers who have solar and have not been contributing toward grid maintenance costs that used to be shared equitably by all.

In 2021, the extra costs paid by non-solar customers totaled $3.4 billion or $9 million per day. By the end of 2022, it is projected to grow to $4.4 billion, or $12 million per day. And by 2030, the cost shift will grow to $10.7 billion or $29 million per day.

Under the state’s current rooftop solar subsidy program, Net Energy Metering (NEM), these unpaid costs get shifted to non-solar customers, many of whom are renters and seniors on fixed incomes.

In 2013, the legislature passed AB 327 which mandated the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to fix the cost shift. Unfortunately, meaningful reform has yet to happen, and the problem continues to get worse. The CPUC released a proposed decision to reform NEM in December 2021, but no substantive action has been taken. Every day that goes by without meaningful reform imposes more of a cost burden on non-solar customers who are disproportionally from disadvantaged communities.

Every Day That Goes by Without NEM Reform Worsens the Unfair and Regressive Cost Shift on Non-Solar Customers