Go solar before NEM 2.0 sours the economics

July 6, 2016

When it’s happening

Net Energy Metering (NEM), the process by which excess energy is credited for solar customers (read more on our FAQ page), will soon be replaced by NEM 2.0. The new version, NEM 2.0, makes rooftop solar less economical. NEM 2.0 goes into effect, not on a specific date, but when a cap of 2,409 megawatts of rooftop solar is tied into the grid. Solar Works is keeping a close eye on the number of systems interconnected on PG&E’s tracking site. There’s no way to predict when the cap will be reached as some systems may not move past the application process, others in the queue may drop out, and a mad dash will be made to get solar while NEM 1.0 is still available. PG&E’s last estimate (in late June) was that the cap would be reached anytime from September to November.

How much it increases costs

Close-up of a horrified senior woman with her mouth open.

While PG&E and Sonoma Clean Power (SCP) customers will still receive credit for the energy they produce, under NEM 2.0, they will pay additional fees as follows:

• Connecting to the grid: $145 (utilities may increase this cost in the future)
• Transmission fees for sending energy (2-3 cents per kwh)
• PG&E bills will never be less than $10. A minimum has been set.

What else it changes

smart meterNew solar customers tying into the PG&E grid will be required to be on Time of Use (TOU) rates. These new TOU rates have smaller, less beneficial time windows than the rates PG&E recently phased out (E6 & E7). They also necessitate having either a smart or TOU meter.
Expansions of more than 10% or 1 kW, will invalidate the NEM 1.0 guarantee, putting the entire system under NEM 2.0.

PG&E ran residential scenarios and estimates that the average, monthly bill will increase by $3-$14 per month with NEM 2.0 versus NEM 1.0. Solar Works uses an energy modeling system to determine the best rate for a new system and what the customer’s bills might look like with solar. Solar Works can also determine what the difference is pre- and post-NEM 2.0.

Equipment prices are lower than they have ever been, the 30 percent tax credit is still available – and acting now can avoid additional charges and ensure your system is more economically beneficial. And you can feel good about partnering with a local, green, BCorp to power your home or business with clean, renewable energy.

Call today to speak with our solar consultant
about designing and installing your system.
(707) 829-8282