How California’s Rooftop Solar Program Will Change in 2023
What you need to know if you’re thinking about going solar
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a decision on December 15, 2022 that changes the way net energy metering works in California. On April 15, 2023, new solar customers will be enrolled in the new Net Billing Tariff (NBT) where customers will be credited for electricity they export based on its value to the grid. Based on a press release from the CPUC, these changes were made to promote grid reliability, incentivize battery storage, and control electricity costs for all Californians.
What does this mean for existing and future solar customers?
Existing Solar Customers
- The CPUC’s decision does not impact existing rooftop solar customers.
- You will maintain your current compensation rates.
- You will continue to remain on your current NEM tariff for 20 years after your system was connected to the electric grid.
- You can expand your system by 10% or 1kW without affecting your NEM legacy status.
- You can replace your panels with like-for-like equipment (same size/rating or less) without affecting your NEM legacy status.
- You can add a battery to your system anytime without affecting your NEM legacy status.
Future Solar Customers
- If you submit an application to install rooftop solar to PG&E on or after April 15, 2023, you will be enrolled in the new Net Billing Tariff (NBT). This means customers who sign up for solar before April 15, 2023 can still qualify for NEM 2.0 – see below for steps on how to do this.
- The CPUC estimates that the average residential customer could still save over $100 a month on their energy bill through NBT.
- In addition, the CPUC’s decision provides extra electricity bill credits to residential customers who adopt solar or solar paired with battery storage in the next five years. Customers are guaranteed these extra bill credits for nine years. According to the CPUC, these bill credits combined with energy bill savings will allow customers to fully pay off systems in nine years or less.
- The Inflation Reduction Act increased the federal tax credit for solar systems to 30% and now includes a 30% credit for battery storage.
- The CPUC expects that NBT will incentivize more customers to couple their solar systems with battery storage so they can store solar electricity produced in the daytime and export it in the evening when the grid needs it the most for reliability. This means adding a battery could help reduce payback periods for new solar customers because exported energy is worth more in the evening. Read more about battery storage on our Backup Power Options page.
- The State will have millions in funding for upfront incentives for customers with lower incomes to make installing solar and battery storage more affordable. This funding will be available starting July 1, 2023.
The CPUC will publish further details about NBT this spring.
Signing Up for NEM 2.0
Customers who wish to enroll in NEM 2.0 should do so by April 14, 2023. On and after April 15, 2023, you will be enrolled in NBT.
- Visit PG&E’s website to find the Interconnection Application and learn more about the Standard Net Metering process and requirements. This is where you can create an account for your solar project.
- Apply before April 15, 2023.
- Once PG&E receives completed documentation, project approval can take up to 30 business days if there is a high volume of applications.
As long as your completed application is submitted before April 15, 2023, you will qualify for NEM 2.0