Last October, California governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 327, which requires the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to make significant changes to the structure of Californias net energy metering regime.
The action has now moved to CPUC, which just this month launched a new proceeding to establish the NEM successor tariff. So the time is perfect to look at how much economic value net energy metering provides to residential solar systems in California and how any changes to the net metering regime will impact the residential solar industry.
In order to determine the value of net energy metering to residential solar customers in California, GTM Research analyzed the impact of net energy metering on the annual electricity bill of PG&E model customers with 5-kilowatt solar systems in Bakersfield, Merced, Salinas, San Jose, Santa Rosa and Stockton. We used hourly energy consumption data from OpenEI and energy production data from PVWatts, as well as the actual PG&E tariff schedule for residential customers with time-of-use rates.
Not surprisingly, net energy metering has a huge impact on the level of annual electricity bill savings that customers can achieve by installing a PV system. Our analysis shows that with net energy metering at the retail rate, the solar system saves each of the model customers $700 to $1,000 more on their annual electricity bill compared to the scenario with no net energy metering at all, equivalent to savings of an additional 54 percent to 85 percent.
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