At the beginning of 2016, the California Public Utilities Commission approved a new net metering policy referred to as NEM 2.0.
This legislation is generally considered a win for the solar industry.
First thing first, if you’ve already gone solar under NEM 1.0, you are grandfathered into NEM 1.0 and not affected by NEM 2.0.
If you go solar now, whether you will be on 1.0 or 2.0 depends on your utility, as NEM 2.0 will go into effect on a per utility basis. When 5% of a utility’s customers have gone solar, the utility will switch over to NEM 2.0. The larger utilities are very close to this line and they may switch over to NEM 2.0 before the 2016 and almost certainly will by the early parts of 2017.
The changes being made are that under 2.0 there is a one-time interconnection fee to go solar. Under 1.0 there is no fee to switch over. 2.0 customers will have to pay a “reasonable fee” to match the utility’s actual costs for interconnections.
Another change for 2.0 is that all new solar customers will be switched over to Time-of-Use rate plans. This will not affect customers who produce as much or more energy than they use, however it will affect customers who produce less than they use. Since TOU charges different amounts based on the time of day, any energy you use from the grid will reflect that time of day, which may be more than your standard rates now.
Additionally, in 2019 all non-solar customers will switch to TOU rate plans as well.