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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Fisher

Net Zero and the New Net Energy Metering Tariffs

How to avoid the new Net Energy Metering 3.0 tariffs in California!

You may have heard some pretty scary talk recently from solar installers, warning about the new tariffs that took effect in California two weeks ago on April 14th. Net Energy Metering (NEM) 3.0 is the latest rate increase for SDG&E, PGE and SoCal Edison solar generating customers. NEM 3.0 will raise rates for solar generating customers by as much as 75%, basically doubling the amount of time it takes to get your ROI on your solar panels.

For existing solar customers there is no need to panic; if you already have solar on your house you are grandfathered in, and will pay under NEM 2.0 for the next 15 years. If you happened to sign a contract prior to April 14th, you've got three years to install your system to remain under NEM 2.0.

However, even if you don't have solar yet, there's still no need to panic! You can avoid these tariffs altogether if your home is truly Net Zero Energy (which is basically the whole point of NEM 3.0).

I recently presented a webinar on everything you need to know about what being Net Zero Energy truly means, with the UC Davis - Climate Adaption Research Center (click here to watch!)

In a nutshell, California generates a lot of solar energy (which is great!) but it's all being generated at the same time when hardly anyone is using it (which is not so great). The power is needed when everyone gets home from school or work at the end of the day and turns on the lights, computers, televisions, air conditioning, etc. It's during these peak times that there's simply not enough renewable energy to go around, so the utilities need to get additional power from dirty sources like coal and gas.

The most dramatic change with NEM 3.0 is that at periods of high generation/low demand, the utilities will now be charging you, the solar generating customer, for sending energy back to the grid, instead of the other way around.

This sounds really terrible, but it's actually not! All you have to do is keep the energy you generate at home - don't send it back to the grid. The way to do that is to make sure you install adequate battery storage for all the power you generate along with your solar panels.

As if you needed yet another reason to contact PHNX about your new Forever Home - the only custom home in the nation that is non-combustible Type I-A construction and Net Zero Energy per California code.

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