California Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 327 that will remove the suspension on solar net metering that would have gone into effect at the end of 2014. The bill also clarifies how the current net metering cap is calculated and provides a framework for removing the net metering cap altogether.
In addition, AB 327 removes the 33 percent ceiling on the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.
AB 327 directs the California Public Utilities Commission to create transition rules for net metering by March 2014. Gov. Brown said, “I expect the Commission to ensure that customers who took service under net metering prior to reaching the statutory net metering cap on or before July 1, 2017, are protected under those rules for the expected life of their systems.”
The solar industry cheered the signing, but also expects challenges to maintaining solar-friendly state policies.
The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC), formed by four solar companies – SolarCity, Sungevity, Sunrun and Verengo – works to ensure the continuation of net metering, which the group says is threatened by electric utilities. TASC said the CPUC has been left a lot of wiggle room to create new net metering rules, and the group expects continuing contention between the state’s utilities and solar stakeholders.