Agricultural Groups Urge CPUC and Governor Newsom to Keep Solar Affordable for Farms and Agricultural Businesses
110 farmers and agricultural business leaders call on Governor Newsom and CPUC to support the Net Energy Metering Aggregation (NEMA) program as utilities push to end it
SACRAMENTO—A group of 110 California farmers and agricultural businesses signed an open letter to Governor Newsom and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), calling on them to support Net Energy Metering Aggregation (NEMA). NEMA helps farms stabilize electricity costs and save money by accessing affordable, reliable, and renewable power when they need it most.
The CPUC is considering changes to Net Energy Metering (NEM), the state policy that makes solar more affordable for consumers of all types by compensating them for the energy they share back to the grid. The CPUC’s current proposed decision on net metering would make it less affordable for residential and commercial consumers to install solar by reducing the value of energy exported to the grid.
Farms and agriculture businesses are not spared the impact of export rate cuts, but the current proposed decision would maintain a key NEM program that more and more farmers have come to depend on, NEMA, which “requires the utilities to net out a farm’s electricity usage from the amount of exported power,” according to the farm letter.
However, the letter goes on to note that “utilities are continuing to press for changes that would bill farmers as if they are not using any of the power they are generating.” That change “would render NEMA useless altogether.”
The letter urges Governor Newsom and the CPUC not to “destroy one of the leading ways we can invest in ourselves to hedge against the eternally rising costs of running a farm.”
A vote on the CPUC proposed decision is expected on December 15.