If solar power is the wave of the future, California and Nevada leaders didn't get the memo
It's not getting much attention, but starting this April the state is going to start cheating people that want to go solar.
To read about it, simply look up the N-E-M-2 compared to the N-E-M-3. That stands for
Net Energy Metering describing the billing between utilities and homeowners who have solar. Under net metering, solar owners earn credit for the excess electricity they push onto the grid when the sun is shining. This credit is used to offset the cost of the electricity they pull off the grid when the sun is not shining.
The changes radically effect how much you get per usage, as well as your tax credit situation.
Last month The California Public Utilities Commission unanimously voted to approve the change with solar systems receiving an average of 8 cents per kWh for the excess power they push onto the grid. Stick with me here, This is roughly 75% less than the average with the way it is right now.
If you want to gain the impressive energy and tax credit benefits from solar, you know, back when we had a government that actually wanted people to install solar panels, you must get your plans in by
April 13, 2023 to be grandfathered into what they call the NEM
For anybody that was planning on going solar, this is devastating news. Most people get solar because they can financially benefit in a big way, sometimes breaking even after 5 years.
Traditionally the tax credits with solar make it worth buying the expensive batteries. Not any more after April 13th. The credited pay back period will not take full effect until after you need a new battery, which doesn't help the homeowners pocketbook--those batteries are ridiculously expensive.
Earlier I mentioned Nevada. A few years ago our neighboring state made a similar change to their solar consumer rewards. The results were devastating, with the loss of jobs (2), not to mention the missed opportunity of many nevada homeowners that would make added solar panels to their home. In addition at least 17,000 power customers with solar panels on their roofs saw their bills soar, a(3)
If you haven't already guessed, these changes will mean way less money for the people that decided to get solar and way more money for the utility companies. We should all pay attention to the fact that this change was a unanimous decision by the commission--all that tells me is that the bribery game is very strong! A good source I spoke to recently confirmed that each of these commission members has ties to the utilities, for what that is worth.
It's just another tax. And it also is a very confusing situation. Are solar panels good or bad for our society? The rolling power outages and the overall frail nature of our power grid suggest that solar panels are a good thing.
Solar power has enough oomph to take care of 18 million average American homes. Why would we not want that number to go up and give some much needed relief to our power grid? In times of recession and depression, the answer is always to de-centralize control and make all the moving parts of society stronger. By pushing people into electric cars by an early arbitrary date, by coming after small gas engines and now by quietly ending the use of solar panels on homes, our government is putting all our energy sources in one basket, and that's not very smart. Not very Green. Not very pro-freedom. It's just inviting disaster.