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Energy news: November 18th, 2022

Welcome to this week’s energy news roundup! Today, we’ll talk about the recently announced plans for Net Energy Metering (NEM) 3.0 and the implications it could have on residential solar in California (the leading solar state). We’ll also cover the new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal aimed at achieving an 87 percent reduction in methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by 2030.

CPUC announces new NEM 3.0 plans

NEM 1.0 and 2.0 have been instrumental in establishing California’s rooftop solar market, which covers 1.3 million homes and is almost half of the entire U.S. residential solar market. Historically, net metering has helped homeowners with solar save money by crediting them for excess electricity they export to the grid, making solar a great investment.

On November 10, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced updated plans for the newest version of California net metering: NEM 3.0. Under the new plan, the value of net metering credits could decrease by up to 75 percent, increasing the solar payback period in California from about 5 to 6 years to around 9 to 10 years. However, it’s important to highlight that this decision isn’t final – the CPUC now needs to hold a vote on their proposal, which is slated to occur on December 15, 2022. Given this timeline, the earliest NEM 3.0 may go live is April 14, 2023.

If you live in California and are thinking about going solar, you should do so sooner rather than later! As long as you submit a final interconnection application before NEM 3.0 goes into effect, you’ll be grandfathered into NEM 2.0 for 20 years, significantly increasing your solar savings. Check out this article to learn more about the plans for NEM 3.0 and its potential implications.

EPA releases methane reduction proposal

Methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas (primarily released by the oil and gas industry) that has 81 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new proposal at COP27 – the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference – to curb and control methane emissions. The proposal aims to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by 87 percent by 2030. The final regulations will be published next year and will supplement the current Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The EPA will use modern technology, zero emission solutions, and close monitoring of vulnerable sites to control and record pollution to help improve climate and human health.

The two main areas of focus in this proposal include reducing greenhouse gas emissions at a federal level and establishing border import tax adjustments on the price of carbon to further reduce methane emissions and accelerate global clean energy markets. This commitment applies to several countries such as the U.S., United Kingdom, and Japan, and regulations will apply to the import and export of fossil fuels as well.


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