EL CENTRO, Calif. – A proposed Imperial Irrigation District (IID) rate change in payback for solar energy produced by customers had some people saying it would cause the loss of hundreds of local jobs.
Under the current program, customers with solar equipment are credited back for energy they don’t use and put back on the grid – that’s called a net metering program.
IID wants to change that to a net bill program – which would repay solar customers on a monthly market-value price.
IID says this is fair for both solar owners and non-solar customers.
But solar officials say this would reduce the payments back to the customer dramatically putting the local solar industry out of business.
“They’ll still be able to get paid for any surplus they put back on the system, would be one, so if they want to go green and they want to have their rooftop, it’s giving them the vehicle to still do that and get compensated,” Belen Valenzuela with the IID said.
“If this change were to go through, I think the vast majority of solar companies would not be able to operate in this area,” said Gina Goodhill Rosen of Solar City.
The IID board has 30 days to either accept the rate change or not.