Update on CA net metering

You may remember that due to the failure to lift the cap on net metering in California, the DG solar market was facing potential disruption.  See latest story here.  Good news–we have a stay of execution.  After … encouragement on the part of the Governor and the solar industry, PG&E (the utility in CA with the most solar, and thusly closest to the cap), filed an ‘Advice Letter’ with regulators to voluntarily lift the cap to 3.5%, pending resolution on a longer term solution:

PG&E believes an increase to the net energy metering cap to 3.5 percent will ensure that investment in the state of California for solar by homeowners and businesses is not slowed by any concern with the cap and would allow for sufficient time to work with the Governor, the Legislature, the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission) and others on the broader issues relating to net energy metering, including any cost shifts that place a greater burden on nonparticipating customers.

You can read the letter here (pdf).  Today, the California Public Utilities Commission granted the request.  This is good news, and good on PG&E for doing this.

Next steps: the CPUC is preparing a report (as mandated by SB 1), on the cost and benefits of net metering, and will deliver it to the Legislature by Jan 1, 2010.  Then the fun begins again at the Legislature, as stakeholders discuss the aforementioned broader issues, etc, and work out a longer term solution for a sustainable solar industry.

The good times.  They never cease.