By Alexis Roberts
You hear it all the time: “Now is the time to make the switch to solar!” If you ask us at Solaire, it’s always a perfect time to make the switch because by making that decision you're playing your part in helping the environment, and you’re also taking control over your energy rates and electric bill. BUT, if you are a California resident and you are even a little interested in solar, we urge you to act sooner rather than later before the new Net Energy Metering Successor tariff, also known as NEM 2.0, goes into effect.
What the Heck is Net Energy Metering?
If you don’t have solar or know much about solar already, I’m sure you’re wondering what NEM or Net Energy Metering is. The old NEM policy allows for residential and commercial solar customers generating their own electricity to feed the energy they do not use back into the electrical grid. If a customer has a solar panel system, it can sometimes generate more electricity than used during the day. If the home is net-metered, the meter will run backwards to deliver a credit against electricity consumed during other periods of the day when the electricity used is more than the system’s output. According to GreenTechmedia.com, for the past ten years this policy has guaranteed net metered customers that “they’ll earn retail-rate payments for their surplus solar energy.”
The New NEM 2.0
At the end of January 2017, CPUC (California Public Utilities Commission) voted to pass an updated version of this policy; the NEM 2.0 tariff. The new version still honors the energy exchange rates for surplus energy, but the new policy also pushes hard towards TOU (Time of Use) rates, which will charge additional rates depending on the time of day, so that there will be a better match of actual costs for producing and transferring energy across the grid. This should ensure that non-solar customers nearby are not unfairly reaping the benefits of that excess energy. So what’s the biggest difference between the two? With the original NEM policy, consumers only have to pay “non-bypassable” charges if they used more electricity from the grid than they consumed over a 12 month period. With NEM 2.0, consumers will pay those “non-bypassable” fees if permitted, plus time of use fees, plus an interconnection fee of $75.
So Why Act Now?
The NEM 2.0 policy doesn’t officially go into effect until July 2017 or once Southern California Energy reaches the net energy metering cap this year - whichever comes first. This means if you sign up today for solar installation you will still fall under the original NEM policy. In addition, that policy will be good for 20 years past your original interconnection date! So today we are telling you that now has never been a better time to make the switch to solar energy. Solar is an investment with the potential for major savings in California, it will even increase the value of your property if you decide to sell. So, no more waiting. Call Solaire Energy Systems today and speak with our knowledgeable and professional customer service reps, they’ll set you up for a free consultation and have you taking charge of your electricity bill in no time!
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