Elon Musk Calls California’s Solar Metering Rules ‘Bizarre Anti-Environment Move;’ Tesla CEO Points Out Consumers Stuck With Higher Energy Bills
Tesla CEO Elon Musk weighed in on a controversial issue in California: the state's proposed solar tax, calling it a "bizarre anti-environmental move by the California government," on his tweet late Tuesday evening.
Last month, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) proposed reducing the number of incentives available to people who install solar energy systems on their roofs.
While Tesla is best known for its electric vehicles, it also owns Tesla Energy, a solar energy company. This company sells both traditional solar panels and its flagship product, the Solar Roof, which replaces a customer's roof with solar energy-generating shingles.
Elon Musk Says Proposal Could Raise Consumer's Electric Bills
Elon Musk estimates that the new proposal could raise solar customers' electric bills by $50 to $80 per month.
According to Tesla's website, if the proposal is approved, the solar fee will be the highest in the country, especially in areas adverse to renewable energy. The company added that the proposal would lower the value of solar energy bill credits provided by about 80%.
Tesla, on Monday, launched a web page to enable people to complain to Governor Gavin Newsom and the CPUC about the proposal.
In California, the Net Energy Metering (NEM) program has helped 1.3 million consumers install over 10,000 megawatts of customer-sited renewable power, nearly mainly rooftop solar. During midday, when the sun is shining, the program reduces demand on the state's electric grid by up to 25%.
The proposal is backed by Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric. According to CPUC, they would charge solar customers an $8 per kilowatt of installed solar each month "grid access" cost.
Exemptions would be granted to low-income and tribal households. Customers would also pay either peak or off-peak rates depending on the time of day they used grid electricity.
In the first year, the bill would provide a temporary "market transition credit" of up to $5.25 per kilowatt per month for low-income residential solar customers and up to $3.59 per kilowatt per month for all other solar users. Customers will be able to pay off the cost of a new solar plus storage energy system in less than ten years, thanks to the credit, which will phase out after four years.
The majority of residential NEM 1.0 and 2.0 users would have to switch from the old to the new net metering program within 15 years of their systems being installed. Low-income houses would be able to make the switch 20 years after installing solar panels.
Net billing consumers would be able to "oversize" their systems by up to 150 percent of their energy demand to assist fuel future electric automobiles or appliances.
At a press conference on Monday, Newsom said that he believes changes will need to be made to the proposal.
California Public Utilities Commission, an independent constitutional commission, is scheduled to vote later this month for their controversial NEM 3.0 proposal.
Meanwhile, the government spokesperson stated that Newsom continues to press forward with his commitment to California's clean energy objectives.
California intends to have carbon-free electricity by 2045.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written by: Jess Smith
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