ITC and Net Metering Extended? Big day for Solar and Home Batteries

by Andrew Meyer
December 15, 2015
Energy

Great news for both the solar and home battery industries today. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has proposed a successor program to the current Net Energy Metering (NEM) program. Net Metering allows customers to receive a financial credit for energy contributed to the grid using generation like photovoltaic solar panels. The successor program has been proposed with the intention of sustaining the value of alternative energy sources like solar both for environmental concerns as well as solar’s ability to give energy access to disadvantaged communities.

Though in theory, the dissolution of Net Metering would increase the necessity for home batteries in maintaining the value of solar panels for individual homeowners and thereby aid in the immediate adoption of home energy storage technology, the extension of net metering also adds value to the storage industry by enabling “Time of Use” shifting. Net Metering allows for variable pricing of energy dependent on demand at different times of day. Time of Use shifting is the home battery’s ability to turn an individual home into an “energy exchange” of sorts: it takes in energy from the grid when demand is low and energy is cheaper and turns the home into “off-grid” mode at night when energy is most expensive. In this sense, a home battery’s value and utility for an individual homeowner is increased.

Unrelated to the Net Metering love, it has also been announced that the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is on the verge of being extended through 2020. PV Magazine writes:

The deal struck by U.S. congressional leaders is widely considered a “done deal” and would see the ITC maintained at its current rate for PV power plant projects that commence construction before January 1 2020, before stepping down to 26% through to 2021 and 22% to 2022, before then stepping down to 10% after that date. The legislation will have to be passed by 12:01am on Thursday December 17, to avoid a government shutdown.

Swell avidly supports the solar industry, since solar power is key to creating an independent and secure home, powered continuously by clean energy. We encourage all of our customers who are interested in “off-grid” independence to pursue solar production in addition to home batteries. The recent developments for ITC and Net Metering are a rising tide that will lift all clean, reliable energy boats.