The New York Times has an article out today on California’s net metering program titled “Solar Panel Payments Set Off a Fairness Debate.”
Unfortunately, the article uncritically accepts, without examination or data, two premises about net metering: that it is a cost shift, and that the poor are bearing the brunt. Here are some resources to rebut:
Division of Ratepayers Advocates statement on cost shift:
Data showing that CA solar is not just for the wealthy:
And insights from CPUC Commissioner Simon on solar demographics, here:
In any event, the question is to be addressed shortly, with decisions made after a fact-based examination. The CPUC decision last week (http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PUBLISHED/FINAL_DECISION/167591.htm) explicitly requires a cost-benefit analysis, and a rulemaking on adjusting net metering, if necessary, going forward. Any cost shift comes from rate structures – and the CPUC is starting a proceeding to look at residential rate structures as well. We’ll be intervening in each process.