The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASK) is pushing back on Turlock Irrigation District (TID) for wanting to cease solar net metering. The nonprofit explains that net metering is a fundamental policy that enables rooftop solar consumers to secure fair credit for excess solar energy sent back to the grid. Without net metering, says TASK, a thriving solar market and robust solar job creation cannot exist.
TASK says ending net metering means wiping out the savings that TID solar customers will be able to earn from their solar systems. They cite TID’s net metering elimination program harms solar customers in the following ways:
- Eliminates the most fundamental solar policy – net metering – which exists in 44 states including California.
- Imposes a discriminatory fee on residential solar customers – the first of its kind in California.
- Charges customers a new $600 meter fee before TID will allow a system to operate.
“It appears that this new billing structure will render solar financially nonviable for TID customers, which will hinder us from taking advantage of green energy in the future,” said John Miller of Miller Farms, Inc., a TID customer. “This is unfortunate because we believe that anything we can do to improve our business, the local economy, and our environment at the same time is good for all parties involved.”
According to TASK, the end of solar net metering may not be permanent. There are efforts in the California Senate to standardize net metering throughout the state.
“TID’s new solar billing structure appears to have a major impact on savings that TID customers can achieve with solar,” added Todd Filbrun, CEO of Kurios Energy, a Manteca solar company. “Keeping utility consumers informed on what options they will have to recoup these savings, such as battery back-up or off-grid solar systems, will be important moving forward.”