Posted by Todd Filbrun on Wed, May 30, 2012 @ 11:15 AM
Electricity regulators in California expanded a program that forces utilities to buy solar electricity generated by homeowners and businesses.
This practice which benefits owners of solar PV systems, formerly was subject to a cap equivalent of 5 percent of utilities’ “aggregate customer peak demand,” according to a statement from the California Public Utilities Commission.
Today’s ruling by the commission, reached in a 5-0 vote, changes the way the cap is calculated and as a result doubles the amount of eligible solar power, the commission said.
The prior net metering cap in California would have been met after about 2.4 gigawatts of installations, and today’s decision raises it to about 5 gigawatts. PG&E Corp. (PCG)’s Pacific Gas & Electric Co. estimated that, under the prior rule, the cap would have gone into effect in its service territory as soon as 2013, according to the statement.
This benefits current and future residential solar customers by placing them on an annual true up schedule with their utility. Customers will be credited for energy produced that they did not use, and be paid on an annual basis for any production overages of electricity.