Net metering 2.0 slows down California’s residential solar market


If there is one state that has led the charge towards a renewable energy future in America, it’s California. The state not only installed the nation’s first large-scale solar and wind installations in the 1980s and 1990s, but has led in terms of proactive policies to support the growth of solar and other forms of renewable energy.

As such, it was no surprise when California’s changes to net metering in January 2016, dubbed “Net Metering 2.0”, were less severe than those in other states. However, while the basic features of retail-rate net metering were preserved, in the utility areas where Net Metering 2.0 has been implemented the effect on the residential market has been a distinct chill.

Statistics provided by the State of California show an average of 11 MW of residential solar installed each month in the service area of San Diego Gas & Electric Company in the second half of 2016, compared to 16.9 MW each month for the first half of the year. This decline of more than a third (35%) came after the utility hit program caps and transitioned to the Net Metering 2.0 program in late June.

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