California Utilities Are Lobbying for Zero Credit Policy
Like Hawaii and Arizona have already passed, California utilities ultimate goal is a zero credit policy. In these cases the grid will not take any power and the inverter shuts down when solar is overproducing.
The electric utility industry is the third-largest lobbying force in the U.S., after pharmaceuticals and insurance companies.
The utilitie make large campaign contributions to candidates who support their financial interests, which include rolling back net metering. One utility alone, Arizona Public Service, engaged in $130 million of lobbying and political spending from 2013 to 2018. The company recently acknowledged that in 2014 it funneled $12.9 million to political groups that helped elect two of the state’s utilities commissioners. Not surprisingly, the Arizona commission voted to end net metering in 2016.
Since 2013, net metering has also been phased out in Hawaii and more recently in Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and New Hampshire. Solar permits in Hawaii were down sharply within two years of its phase-out, and the same pattern could play out in the other states.