Aggregate Net Metering a Reality For All Three California IOUs

Solar panels on a farm barn

Sometimes a single energy customer has multiple neighboring electricity meters. Farmers, for example, might have water pumping stations on more than one parcel of land. For a number of reasons, it makes sense to allow these customers to install just one solar array to reduce their electricity demand and utility bills at those various nearby locations. It lowers the cost to the customer, it reduces the administrative burden of serving that customer, and it generally supports a more efficient approach to clean energy. Californians in all three major utility territories can now take this commonsense approach to solar through the state’s new aggregate net metering policy.

Late last week, the California Public Utilities Commission approved a resolution authorizing Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to join PG&E in allowing their customers to aggregate their meters on adjacent properties. Making this policy a reality in the Golden State has been a long time coming. Today’s approval is the final step in the implementation of SB 594, an aggregate net metering bill from Senator Wolk that was passed in 2012. Along the way, solar advocates pointed out problems with the advice letters first filed by the utilities to implement the law in October 2013. PG&E’s revised tariff was approved by the Energy Division in February, but it took longer to resolve remaining issues for the two SoCal IOUs. Once the California Solar Initiative (CSI) rules have also been modified to allow state incentives to be applied to a net metering system sized to offset the entire aggregated load, we call this a job well done. Many thanks to the hardworking CPUC staff who saw it through!

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