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Proposed Rule Would Hike Electricity Costs for California Apartments



A rule proposed by the CPUC would raise the cost of solar-powered electricity for apartments.r (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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The California Public Utilities Commission is holding a public hearing this morning on a proposal that would drive up the costs of electricity for tenants in multifamily apartments.

Under the Virtual Net Metering Proposal, electricity generated by solar panels on multifamily housing would have to be sold to a utility company at wholesale rates and then repurchased by the apartment complex at the current retail rate. The power would not be used directly by the tenants.

Utility companies would pay only pennies at wholesale rates for the power generated but sell it back at a much higher retail rate, critics says.

Virtual Net Metering was created as an opportunity for tenants to have a share of lower-cost solar energy that is generated through one meter instead of multiple meters, one for each housing unit.

The costs of providing multiple meters would considerably raise the cost of building housing units. New developments in California are required to have solar panels.

The hearing starts at 11 a.m.

How to Comment

To provide a public comment, dial in at 11 a.m. to get into the queue for speaking: 1-800-857-1917, passcode: 9899501# (Spanish speakers: 1-800-857-1917, passcode: 3799627#)

To make a public comment during the public comment period, press *1 (star one) when you wish to speak to be placed in a queue by the operator. Once you press *1 you will be prompted to state your name and/or organization.

You can also watch the meeting at

If you have trouble calling into the Public Comment line, send an email to or call (415) 703-5263.

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