SE Williams |
In February, Californians are obliged to pay approximately $ 1.25 billion for overdue utility bills, and the Public Utility Commission (CPUC) of California states that utility bills are delinquent for utility bills. Approved a plan to support.
The plan, issued on June 21, is to suspend delinquency claims for another three months and allow energy operators to register with home customers and repay their energy claims debt if necessary for two years. Gave enough time to notify.
In addition, Congressional Research Service reported in May that household debt (including overdue utility bills) had reached $ 14.6 trillion, the peak of the 2008 Great Depression, as of the fourth quarter of 2020. ..
Total household debt and its composition
From the first quarter of 2006 to the fourth quarter of 2020
In the face of this reality, there is growing concern about growing inequality in connection with low-income customers who may feel unfairly held hostage to the increasing impact of NEM subsidies. I understand that you are.
About 70% of solar PV customers are in the wealthiest 40% of society. Grants for just one of these customers can range from $ 540 to $ 840 per year, according to a Brookings report.
Multiplying the minimum amount ($ 540) by the average lifespan of a rooftop PV system, which is estimated to be 25 times the number of systems deployed throughout the state, simplifies the size of the cost shift and its impact on the poor. You can check it. Over the next few years, more people will be adopting solar power and fewer customers will share the burden of NEM subsidies.
Concerns about NEM inequality are not new. In a 2013 study by Energy + Environmental Economics, CPUC commissions estimated that NEM would bring a $ 1.1 billion annual cost shift from solar to non-solar customers by 2020. Many of them are one of the most affordable customers for NEM. The policy has not been reformed.
NEM2010 household income by year of installation
Compared to median income in California
In 2013, a major cost shift was unacceptable to CPUC and adjusted in NEM 2.0, but the cost shift continues to grow over time.
How did you get here
When NEM was implemented in 1995, there were 10,000 home PV systems in California. Today, California is experiencing an explosive increase in solar power. California is currently the world leader in this regard.
Today, solar produces about 15% of the state’s energy, while the cost of rooftop solar technology has been significantly reduced. It is estimated to be 70%.
With all these factors, critics can justify the inequality of NEM subsidies carried by the state’s poorest people for as long as the state enjoys the benefits of technology to those who have the means. I am asking questions about.
Given California’s clean energy advances, the dramatic drop in rooftop solar prices, and policies that guarantee continued growth of rooftop solar in the state, why should these subsidies be maintained? It’s difficult to rationalize. This is especially true when people seek equality and the end of such institutional and systematic disparities.
In April, AB 1139, the “Utility Profit Grab” bill was submitted to Congress. It called for the abolition of current net energy metering charges and required CPUC to establish a new version of net energy metering (NEM 3.0) and other new programs.
The bill requires that surplus energy generated by PV systems be credited at wholesale rates and that electricity imported from the grid be billed to customers at retail prices, with all transmission and distribution charges. A grid access fee was required for all power consumed, including. The bill died on the parliamentary floor in early June.
However, the bill’s failure did not end its willingness to change as CPUC sought a viable solution to NEM subsidy concerns.
CPUC is looking for a solution
The Public Utility Commission of California is in the process of reassessing the current Net Energy Metering (NEM) program and will decide on a new program. Established as NEM3.0.
As part of the deliberations, CPUC is considering some suggestions. Some are sun-friendly and some are not.
Anyway, the agency required that all proposals submitted for consideration adhere to the guiding principles it presented. Ensuring fairness among customers, strengthening consumer protection measures, maximizing the value of renewable energy on customer sites for all customers, ensuring transparency for all customers, and needing renewable energy Energy and zero carbon resources needed suggestions to coordinate with current California energy policies, including California’s 2018 groundbreaking policy SB100, of electricity retail sales to end-use customers by 2045 We supply 100%.
CPUC change timeline
On June 24, the Commission resolved to approve a major update of the computer used to evaluate all NEM proposals.
On August 27, the Committee held an opening brief on proposals and responses by September 10.
Currently, the state has to wait for the Commission to announce the proposed decision by 9 December, with the final decision on NEM 3.0 scheduled for 8 January 2021.
IEVoice and BlackVoice News will continue to follow this story.
Stephanie Williams is the Editor-in-Chief of IE Voice and Black Voice News. A longtime defender of all forms of civil rights and justice, a defender of government transparency, he is committed to seeking out and exposing government corruption. Stephanie has won an award for investigative journalism and the weekly column “Keeping it Real.” Contact Stephanie for tips and comments.Or concerns firstname.lastname@example.org..
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