Solar Customers Call for Fair Treatment

Letter to PUC Urges Net Metering Contracts to Be Honored for Thirty Years

San Francisco—School districts, ranchers, business associations and others sent a letter today to Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey and Governor Jerry Brown urging them to honor existing agreements with solar customers.

 At issue is net metering, the program that allows a solar customer’s meter to run backward at times when solar panels are producing electricity that is not being consumed in the building. The customer is only billed for net electricity usage. The program has been a fundamental component in the decision to go solar for most solar customers.

 “The state has stood behind Net Energy Metering for over a decade as a way to encourage our investments in clean energy,” the parties stated in the letter, adding, “We would feel wronged if the state changed the rules we agreed to.” 

The letter was signed by the Los Angeles Business Council, the California Cattleman’s Association, the California Association of School Business Officials, and other businesses, organizations and districts. 

Last year, the California Legislature passed a bill to revamp the state’s net metering program. The first decision by the PUC in implementing that bill is determining when the current net metering agreements will be transferred over to a new agreement that has not yet been defined. Gov. Brown has supported fair treatment for current net metering customers, but the PUC has not issued a ruling.

“A deal is a deal,” said Brad Heavner, Policy Director of the California Solar Energy Industries Association. “People went solar when the state encouraged them to do so, and the state needs to hold up its end of the bargain.”