CALSEIA Weekly Policy Review – January 26, 2015
The CPUC inched forward in the NEM 2.0 proceeding last week by issuing a memo defining the scope and timeline. There were no big surprises, although they relaxed the timeline for development of the Public Tool. This is the model that will measure how much revenue utilities lose when people go solar under different proposals for net metering structure. The Commission now says the beta version of the Public Tool will be released in “First quarter 2015” rather than “late January,” with the final version released in the second quarter rather than the previous target of March. They also said they will seek “comments on policy issues” this quarter, which may be the first time that parties put their positions officially on the table.
Meanwhile, concern has been growing that SDG&E could meet its 5% cap for NEM 1.0 before new rules are in place. The chart below is based on the IOU monthly reports of progress toward the cap. It appears that SCE will offer NEM 1.0 until July 1, 2017, the deadline for NEM 2.0 implementation according to AB 327. PGE will at least be close. But SDG&E will clearly meet its cap before the deadline. Assuming the installation rate stays that same as the average over the past four months, they will meet the cap in April 2016. If the installation pace increases, as it normally does year over year, it will be sooner. CALSEIA is exploring policy options for dealing with this.
View chart: assets/nem tracker iou chart no growth.pdf
Solar Water Heating
At long last, the Commission is scheduled to grant CALSEIA’s petition to increase incentive levels in the CSI-Thermal program. It is on the agenda for the CPUC voting meeting this Thursday. We proposed incentives of $20.19 per therm for multifamily housing, $24.89 per therm for low-income multifamily housing, and $29.85 for single family homes. We are hoping to see a surge in activity as companies move forward with projects that have been on the drawing boards.
Look for CALSEIA’s final brief in the residential rates case on Monday, along with final comments on the proposed decision on community solar submitted jointly with solar allies.
At this week’s CPUC voting meeting, the MASH final decision is back on the agenda. We expect the community solar decision to be removed from the agenda until the February 12 meeting.
For a summary of other regulatory issues CALSEIA is involved in, see our Quarterly Regulatory Update.