NEM Has Cost Californians Without Rooftop Solar More than $2 BILLION So Far This Year

Posted on June 30, 2022

Sacramento – It has been nearly a decade since the passage of AB 327 in 2013 which directs the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to ensure the state’s rooftop solar program, Net Energy Metering (NEM), does not impose unfair costs on Californians without rooftop solar.

In December 2021 the CPUC released proposed reforms to NEM. That proposed decision has yet to be voted on. Every day that goes by without NEM reform increases the electricity bills of Californians without rooftop solar by $12 million, or roughly $250 per year, per customer. If no changes are made to NEM, the cost shift will increase to $10.7 billion by 2030; that’s $29 million per day or $550 per customer per year.

And because data confirms that homeowners and wealthier Californians are more likely to install rooftop solar, these costs are falling on non-solar customers who are disproportionately lower-income and more vulnerable residents.

Bringing an end to these unfair bill increases for non-solar customers simply requires the CPUC to reform NEM to ensure that all electricity customers who use the electric grid pay for its costs. Customers with rooftop solar continue to rely on the electric grid when the sun doesn’t shine, but under NEM don’t contribute their fair share toward its upkeep. That means non-solar customers are paying not only their portion, but also costs that used to be paid by solar customers.

The skyrocketing cost of daily living expenses in California, reinforces the urgency of NEM reform.