Solar advocates in California say that a recent move by Pacific Gas & Electric to expand net metering will encourage adoption of more rooftop solar.
Earlier this week Governor Schwarzenegger convinced PG&E to up the amount of net metering allowed in its territory from 2.5 percent of peak demand to 3.5 percent, according to a press release.
“Net metering is the policy backbone of a strong rooftop solar market in California. This commitment provides a critical near-term solution for the looming net metering program cap,” said Sara Birmingham, Solar Alliance lead for California.
“With this short-term fix in place, we would welcome opportunity to consider eliminating all net metering caps in the 2010 legislative session, a move that would allow maximum private investment in solar to reduce the state’s peak power demand and harmful carbon emissions,” said Adam Browning, executive director of Vote Solar.
About 50,000 California businesses and homes take advantage of net metering, although that amount is predicted to increase with the recent news from PG&E.
Existing state law calls for California utilities to make net metering available to all customers until capacity exceeds 2.5 percent of a utility’s peak demand. PG&E’s territory was expected to go over that cap early next year.