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NEM 3.0 - a short sighted, protectionist, anti-climate, pro-utility, clean energy disaster.  

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

As a platform supporting over a third of Californian solar installers, the small businesses leading the state's energy transition, it has been saddening to see a 60% reduction in sales volume in 2023, and to read about the 17,000 job losses this year - all the direct result of California's ‘pro-climate’ governor’s decision to cut the value of solar electricity on the grid by 80% with his “NEM 3.0” policy change in April. 

We have to call it out for what it is: a short sighted, protectionist anti-climate pro-utility clean energy disaster.  

With the fossil fool utilities lobbying and owning state government thinking, how on earth are we going to modernize and clean up American energy?  Right in the middle of a climate crisis we’ve more than halved the size of the Californian distributed solar industry, which used to represent 50% of US home solar sales. You can see the utility chiefs in their big offices smiling, while the livelihood of thousands of employees of the hundreds of small solar businesses reel in pain.  Imagine these entrepreneurs, working hard for years to build a great business saving customers money with clean energy, then this. Bankruptcy at the hands of an overnight policy disaster.  I speak with knowledge of this pain, in my case it was coal-loving Trump in 2017.

There’s obviously an argument for updating net metering rules to ensure the values of solar are properly calculated, but Sacramento’s caving in to the big company lobbyists' demands, instead of phasing into a new battery-powered gross metering regime as battery prices fall, is sheer stupidity.

OpenSolar advocates for a phased approach to a market based value capture model, where all energy producers are treated equally, where carbon and pollution is taxed, where the value to the grid of storage and distributed energy near the point of consumption is reflected, where permitting is automated, instant and digital, where interconnection is free and automatic, and where utilities have to compete on merit, not on closed door bullying.

We stand by all of our pro community to help where we can, and hope Governor Newsom sees sense and re-instates 2.0, until a phased approach can be agreed, so we can enjoy clean affordable energy for all Californians.

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