Californian utilities not paying for feed in any longer

They paid for net metering nogal. So now the sales of PV panels has dried up leaving the stores with stock they can’t sell.

I don’t think that is a true headline… they have changed the rules a bit but send us the link to the source so we can have a bit of detail.


I’ll try to get the official statement.

This will help

Read a few years ago re. on why. Basically when the “problem” first showed its head.

Them Mericans were up in arms at that time already.

Their utilities realized they were losing, or rather, not making enough profit buying power back en mass with more and more “coming online” to “cash in”.

Hence my reluctance in SA to grab, read, spend tons of cash only to be told, thank you, but we are terminating the agreement forthwith.

Time will tell in SA.

1 Like

I reckon we’re seeing this already especially with the price of panels.
Those who are going to buy them have already done so. (and there’s only so many you can buy due to your roof space and hardware limitations etc.)
And I haven’t heard any more talk by the CT mayor about the incentives to export excess power since last year so that sends a message as well…

Selling back power to a utility is to pass up the opportunity to put that same power to profitable use.
In my opinion, a user who cannot find a better use for their excess is not being very creative.
ZA is a country where people braai mielies on the pavement to feed their families.

Supply the neighbours with ice, brew your own beer, incubate chickens etc the opportunities that having an excess and secure supply create are boundless.

I am not proposing that you do things at a scale that wakes up the taxman, but everyone will have some sort of opportunity to earn themselves more than that measly sell-back margin.


The complexes that people like to live in provide an ideal opportunity for this.

The guy braaing mielies wouldn’t have those complications.

More fine print:
They do pay you something for feed in but it’s no longer net metering…

Whomever ever thinks (don’t say that 3 times) it’s a good idea to spend monies when you up against politics and politicians, has not thought this through.

Your capital tied up (there are better investments (ROI) than selling back)
Chances are very real that the rules will change
Tariff will change, normally not in your favour
Pay for a meter
Pay Engineers to sign off
Consider you may sell the property and move
Breakdowns of equipment may be more frequent


Pardon me please for being so dof this early in the morning, but net metering is you buy X, you feed in Y, and what you pay (or get back) is X-Y?

My understanding is they credit you for feed in at the same rate they supply… :thinking:

Hmmm… then I can see why the private providers are upset. They sell you X, you feeback Y, charging you only (X-Y) times tariff is going to make a hole in their profits. It gets worse when you have people with powerbanks and the like that buy when the price is low and feed-in when the price is high.

Now, in a case where the power provider is the government, then they can rationalise this by saying that it helps them get through the evening peak and thus helps everybody in the city/province/whatever because they can keep the lights on.

NERSA set a feed-in tariff for SA. At present COCT have a 2-year (and counting down) dispensation to pay over that. It’s not net metering as you describe it, but I don’t see how it can be. COCT, COJ, Eskom, probably other municipalities are all trying to attract IPPS, and they need to leave a gap in which those IPPs can make a profit.

Somewhere down the line we have to realise that it costs money to provide power via a grid, and at the very least the entities doing that need to break even - and that includes after paying staff, maintenance and so on.

Maybe an easier sell in SA where we know what happens when there isn’t enough power to go around.

The USA and Europe already had the issue where there was more power generated than what could be used. One cannot just switch stuff off. This is a HUGE balancing act, and renewables are causing drama at times when there is a lot of surplus.

Hence that is where utilities start changing the rules.

I’m sure there’s going to be dynamic billing at some stage. Maybe not here just yet but the utilities could introduce a time of day tariff so if you can store your RE then sell it to them when there’s a demand…

I believe Oz has such schemes, even to the tune of negative pricing. Where you will be charged to generate. I am unsure if it goes as far as being paid to use though.

In Europe, at least some places, you are paid to use. But there is a tax on top that is always for your account, so you don’t make money until the price is more negative than the tax.

There is presently some internal debate going on as to what is better: Generating with your own panels, or shutting down your own solar and buying from the grid (which makes you money). On an ethical level, the reason the grid price is negative is because there is too much PV online, so by shutting down your own and taking it from the grid instead, it can be argued that you do more good than bad… and you get paid for it.

COJ has a TOU of tariff. The winter high price is scary. But if you can switch lots of useage to the wee hours of the morning then you can make a dent in your bill. Both City Power and Jhb Water would like you to run your pool pump at night - and on TOU you can save by doing that. You can put your geyser on a timer and turn it off at, say, 4 am,


They want PV users to go on to TOU, and whilst the price you PAY changes by hour of day, the price they pay YOU does not. You get as much money back for selling a unit during peak times (when it’s probably going to come out of your battery) as you do at 12:00 (when it comes from your panels and they don’t really want it).

1 Like

Deleted by author