NEM 3.0 Homeowner FAQ

Greenshot_2023-03-08_13.11.57.png

NEM 3.0 Homeowner FAQ

Below you can find our answers to some of the most frequent questions we get from Homeowners regarding the new net metering policy in California. Thank you again for joining the Powur community and for helping to accelerate the transition from dirty to clean, renewable energy.

If you are ready to get solar, contact your Independent Solar Consultant to learn more or request a free quote by clicking here!

What is NEM 3.0?

The method utilities use to calculate the excess solar power their customers deliver to the electric grid during the day is called “net energy metering” (NEM) or simply, “net metering.” The rules that determine how solar customers are compensated are approved by each state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC). In late 2022, the California PUC voted to adopt the state's third NEM policy (after NEM-1 and NEM 2.0) which we call NEM 3.0.

How is NEM 3.0 different?

Compared to NEM-1 and NEM 2.0, which both provided solar customers a 1:1 credit for the excess power they delivered to the electric grid during the day, NEM 3.0 will offer a significantly lower credit. Under NEM-3.0, customers will receive 75% to 80% less from the utility for the energy they send to the grid during the day. Instead of getting compensated for the full retail value of electricity delivered to the electric grid, solar users will only receive a fraction of the retail value of electricity that they share with the grid.

When does NEM 3.0 go into effect?

The new net metering rules go into effect on April 15th, 2023, which means the last day to qualify for NEM 2.0 by submitting a complete interconnection application is April 14th, 2023.

What does NEM 3.0 mean for existing solar customers?

Homeowners who already have solar in California or who qualify for NEM 2.0 before the new rules take effect on April 15th, 2023, are locked into NEM-1 or NEM 2.0 for 20 years from the date their solar system is turned on. Customers who are nearing the end of the 20-year period will be switched to NEM 3.0.

How do I go solar before NEM 3.0 goes into effect?

If you decide to go solar before NEM 3.0 takes effect on April 15th, 2023, you should first speak to an Independent Energy Consultant from Powur. Once you’ve signed a contract with Powur, we will work quickly to complete your site survey, finalize the design of your solar system, and submit a complete interconnection application to your utility company by April 14th, 2023.

It may take a few weeks to complete your interconnection application, so if you want to qualify for NEM 2.0, we recommend completing your signed contract by March 31st, 2023. Powur cannot guarantee that you will qualify for NEM 3.0, but the moment your contract is complete, we will work as fast as possible to get your interconnection application submitted by April 14th.

If I already have solar, how will NEM 3.0 affect me?

Existing solar customers who already have solar under NEM-1 or NEM 2.0, and customers who qualify for NEM 2.0 before April 15th, 2023, will be “grandfathered” into their existing NEM agreement for 20 years from the date when their solar system is turned on.

  • Example: Systems turned on in July 2022 will be switched to NEM 3.0 in July 2042.
  • Example: Systems turned on in May 2004 will be switched to NEM 3.0 in May 2024.
  • Example: An interconnection application submitted on April 14th, 2023 for a system installed in February 2024 will be switched to NEM 3.0 in February 2044.

What if I already have solar and I want to add more solar panels?

Existing homeowners may add on panels without losing their status under NEM-1 or NEM 2.0 as long as the interconnection application for the add-on is submitted by April 14th, 2023. After NEM 3.0 goes into effect, existing solar users who increase their system size by 10% or 1kW (whichever is greater) will be switched to NEM 3.0. If you want to add panels before NEM 3.0 takes effect, Powur must submit a complete interconnection application for the add-on by April 14th, 2023.

To complete the interconnection application for the add-on, the utility company will need information about the count and model number of the panels and inverters.

Do I have to install my system before April 15th, 2023 to qualify for NEM 2.0?

No. The deadline to qualify for NEM 2.0 ends on April 15th, 2023, and all complete interconnection applications received by April 14th, 2023 will be grandfathered into NEM 2.0. The system does not need to be installed by the end of the deadline. The last day to submit a complete interconnection application and qualify for NEM 2.0 is April 14th, 2023.

When does my solar system need to be installed to qualify for NEM 2.0?

Applicants who submit a complete interconnection application by April 14th, 2023 will have three years to install their system under NEM 2.0.

What if my 20-year grandfather period is about to expire?

If you already have solar under NEM-1 and it’s been nearly 20 years since your system was turned on, the only way to avoid being switched to NEM 3.0 is to remove your existing solar system and replace it with a new one. If you choose to do this, the interconnection application must be completed and submitted by April 14th, 2023, and the existing solar system must be removed prior to submitting the application for the replacement system.

What is required to qualify for NEM 2.0 prior to April 15th, 2023?

A complete and accurate interconnection application must be submitted to the utility prior to April 15th, 2023 to be grandfathered into NEM 2.0. In order to submit an accurate interconnection application, you must have a complete solar contract to qualify for NEM 2.0 and Powur must complete the design for your solar project.
Regarding the interconnection application, it is important that the utility account owner signs the interconnection document at the point of sale.

Can I make changes to the system after April 15th, 2023, and still qualify for NEM 2.0 if I am a new solar customer?

Once the application is submitted, some minor changes, such as changes to equipment will be allowed. However, system size cannot be increased or decreased by more than 20%, and major changes will not be allowed without submitting a new application. Submitting a new application after the April 15th deadline will forfeit your qualification for NEM 2.0.

Can I add a battery without losing NEM 2.0?

Yes. Batteries may be added to existing solar systems after the deadline to qualify for NEM 2.0 without forfeiting NEM-1 or NEM 2.0 grandfathering. If you add a battery to your NEM-1 or NEM 2.0 system after April, you will not be moved to NEM-3.
However, if you submit as solar-only by April 14, and want to change your application before installation to add a battery, you will lose NEM 2.0 status.

Can I add on more solar without losing NEM 2.0?

It depends.

If you are an existing solar customer under NEM-1 or NEM 2.0, you can only add 10% or 1kW of solar capacity to your existing system without being switched to NEM-3. If you expand your system by more than 10% or 1kW of solar capacity, your whole system will be switched to NEM 3.0 (not just the extension).

If you are a new customer who submitted an application for a system prior to April 14th, 2023, and you are grandfathered into NEM 2.0, you can only increase or decrease your system size by 20% without being switched to NEM 3.0. There is also a limit of one set of changes to the contract, if you request multiple adjustments, you may be forced to withdraw and resubmit.

Can I downsize my system once the contract is already signed?

If you are a new customer who submitted an application for a system prior to April 14th, 2023, and you are grandfathered into NEM 2.0, you can only increase or decrease your system size by 20% without being switched to NEM 3.0. There is also a limit of one set of changes to the contract, if you request multiple adjustments, you may be forced to withdraw and resubmit.

Will engineering review affect NEM 2.0 grandfather status?

If a complete application is submitted by the deadline, engineering review will not affect the grandfather status.

Is there a timeline for my project to be completed to remain grandfathered into NEM 2?

Applicants who submit a complete interconnection application by April 14th, 2023 will have three years to receive a final building permit from their local jurisdiction and install their system under NEM 2.0.

What changes can I make to my submitted application that is eligible for NEM 2.0 after the sunset period without losing NEM 2.0 status?

You are allowed to make one set of changes to a pending application. These changes can relate to:

  • Correcting minor spelling mistakes in names
  • Specific equipment (if the model in the original application is no longer available) - if the substitution does not increase system size and does not mean a decrease of more than 20%
  • Also, the application must be “free of major deficiencies” in order to maintain grandfathering

What is a major deficiency?

If the application contains a major deficiency, it can lead to resubmission and thus losing the grandfathering. Although it is not clearly defined, the below can constitute a major deficiency:

  • Blank fields on the application
  • The name and address on the application do not match those that are on the bill
  • Completely wrong name for the applicant
  • Wrong meter number
  • Wrong account ID number
  • Failure to add required attachments or consumer protection documents
  • Incomplete required attachments or consumer protection documents
  • Failure to reply to utility messages


NEM 2.0 Interconnection Application Deadline. On December 15, 2022, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adopted a new net billing tariff (NBT), which will go into effect for customers who submit an application to connect their solar system to their electric utility company (“Interconnection Application”) on or after Saturday, April 15, 2023. The current net energy metering tariff (NEM 2.0) is available for new customers who submit an Interconnection Application by Friday, April 14, 2023 (“NEM 2.0 Deadline”). Powur will use commercially reasonable efforts to process and submit an Interconnection Application on Your behalf by the NEM 2.0 Deadline, provided that Powur has timely received all necessary information from You and relevant third-parties to complete the application. POWUR MAKES NO REPRESENTATION, WARRANTY, OR GUARANTEE THAT YOUR SOLAR SYSTEM WILL QUALIFY TO BE GRANDFATHERED INTO THE NEM 2.0 PLAN.

Suggestions or Comments?

If you have any comments or feedback about this page, if you believe there is any information missing or if you have suggestions for new or existing content on Powur’s Knowledge Base (i.e., updates, new articles suggestions, or concerns about content accuracy), please submit a Knowledge Base Request Form.

We appreciate your contribution.

Was this article helpful?
1 out of 1 found this helpful

Comments

0 comments

Article is closed for comments.

Share it, if you like it.