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Elon Musk trashes California's 'bizarre' solar tax proposal
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk bashed California's proposal for new energy metering rules on solar panels Wednesday, calling the idea a "bizarre anti-environment move," while the company said consumers will get stuck with higher energy bills.
California's Net Energy Metering (NEM) program has enabled 1.3 million customers to install roughly 10,000 megawatts of customer-sited renewable generation, almost all of which is rooftop solar. The program reduces the demand on the state's electric grid by as much as 25% during midday when the sun is shining.
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According to California's Public Utilities Comission, the proposal, dubbed NEM 3.0, would charge solar customers of Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric a "grid access" fee of $8 per kilowatt of installed solar per month. Low-income and tribal homes would be exempt. Customers would also pay either peak or off-peak rates, depending on the time of day electricity from the grid is used.
The measure would offer a temporary "market transition credit," which would provide up to $5.25 per kilowatt per month for low-income residential solar customers and up to $3.59 per kilowatt for all other solar customers in the first year. The credit, which would phase out after four years, will allow customers to pay back the cost of a new solar plus storage energy system in less than 10 years.
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