California law requires all electric utilities to allow up to 5% of their peak capacity to connect with their electric system using net energy metering (NEM). NEM allows solar customers to bank the energy they produce and receive credits for later when they use electricity. A few publicly owned utilities, such as Turlock Irrigation District, are using their own interpretation on the cap that reduces the number of customers to install solar by more than half compared to large investor owned utilities (IOU) like PG&E and Southern California Edison.
It is hard to understand the rationale behind an argument that says aggregate customer peak demand, relative to the state’s NEM program, means one thing in an IOU territory and another in a POU territory. There are no inherent differences between an IOU service territory and a POU service territory that should change the meaning of aggregate customer peak demand. SB 550 would require all utilities to offer the same access to NEM statewide in addition to allowing Californians to lower energy costs and meeting the states 35% renewable energy mandate by 2020.
The Farm Bureau is in support of the bill but Turlock Irrigation District is not. There’s more to read regarding the SB 550 bill, to learn more please click here or to read the official legislative analysis click here.