How to Lock in NEM 2.0

...and avoid NEM 3.0 

by Josiah  Phillips

On December 15th, 2022, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) unanimously approved the NEM 3.0 proposal, a decision that has been the subject of debate for over a year.

This updated policy for net metering in California makes solar less beneficial for homeowners, as the value of exported electricity is set to decrease. 

However, this decision has not yet taken effect-- and it is still possible to be grandfathered in to the current NEM 2.0 policy for a limited time.

Keep reading for some answers to the most frequently asked NEM 3.0 questions--particularly: "Can I be grandfathered into NEM 2.0 with Project Solar?"


The NEM 3.0 decision is statewide, and will affect all California customers that are looking to install solar.

The specific impacts, however, will vary by utility company.  Customers in other states will not be affected directly, but this decision may set a precedent that could be followed by other areas in the future.

Based on this decision, the value of exported solar power in California is expected to drop by about 75%, according to the California Solar and Storage Association.

Additionally, under NEM 3.0, battery storage is more beneficial--batteries provide some grid independence, and using them to capture unused excess production can allow you to use that power during the evenings rather than exporting it to the grid for a reduced rate. 

NEM 3.0 originally included added fees to solar customers' utility bills, but this thankfully was omitted from the proposal prior to the final decision, and is not applicable. 

Is it still possible to be grandfathered into NEM 2.0?

Yes, it is!

Any interconnection application submitted before April 14, 2023, will be grandfathered into NEM 2.0 for 20 years. Projects do not need to be installed or interconnected by this date; they simply need this application submitted.

For a complete submission, we need the following items: 

1. A signed contract, Consumer Protection Guide (CPG), and Contractors State License Board Disclosure
These can be obtained relatively quickly--all our California contracts include a CPG, and these documents are completed early in the process. 
2. A Single Line Diagram
A Single Line Diagram is basically a simplified modeling of an electrical system, which is completed by our engineers after your contract is signed. 
4. An Oversizing Attestation (if applicable)
Some utility companies (in particular, Southern California Edison) require customers to complete an Oversizing Attestation. This document is for customers who are sizing their system for significantly more produced energy than they are currently using per year. 

Once these are attained, we can submit the interconnection application. 

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Can I add battery storage to my system under NEM 2.0, even after the deadline?

With solar battery storage becoming more and more accessible, many past solar customers are interested in adding batteries on to their systems. 

If you're already part of NEM 2.0 or if you're grandfathered prior to the deadline, you can add battery storage and still remain on that policy.

However, this answer can change if you're also adding solar capacity, not just a battery.

Clean Backup Energy with Power Bank

At home. On the go. Off-grid.

Lock in your net energy metering before it drops 75%.

Start your solar journey today.

Can I expand my system after the deadline and stay grandfathered in?

Whether you're growing your family, installing a pool heater, or purchasing an electric vehicle, home electrical usage often increases over time.

To match this increased usage, it can sometimes be cost effective to expand your solar system. It is still possible for homeowners under NEM 2.0 to add on to their system without voiding their current policy, as long as an interconnection application is submitted prior to the April 14th deadline.

If you wait till after the NEM 3.0 deadline, however, you'll only be able to increase your system's size by 10% of your last year's usage. Oversizing more than this will void your NEM 2.0 agreement, requiring you to switch to NEM 3.0.

To increase your system size under NEM 3.0, you'll need to complete an Oversizing Attestation that claims you’ll increase your electricity consumption to the oversized level within one year--you'll also be limited to 50% of your previous year's usage.

You will then have one year to make any purchases/home improvements to bring your usage up. 

It's important to keep in mind here that solar companies also won't usually increase your system size by small increments (like adding 1-2 panels), and most will have a minimum system size. Project Solar is no different--we can't facilitate installs less than 2kW (about 5 panels).

What if I want to install solar in the future?

Customers with applications submitted prior to April 14th, 2023 will have three years to complete their project and interconnect the installed system to the grid. 

This does NOT mean that customers can start an interconnection application for a system that is planned to be installed later in the year or in coming years.

Project Solar cannot accept jobs that aren't yet ready to begin the process, as this can bog down our pipeline and delay other projects--namely, new solar customers that are looking to be grandfathered in to NEM 2.0. 

Also, though customers will technically have three years to interconnect the system, the design for the project cannot increase in size, and cannot decrease by more than 20%.

Can Project Solar guarantee that I will be grandfathered in to NEM 2.0?

Project Solar will do our best to submit an interconnection application as soon as possible, but we often rely on coordination with the customer and/or a third party to complete interconnection applications.

This means that there are things that can delay your application, such as last-minute design/equipment change requests and engineering/structural issues. If additional work is required to install your system, like a Main Panel Upgrade, Derate, etc, the engineering process can be prolonged, which can prevent us from completing an application on time. 

Since we cannot control these details, we cannot guarantee that you'll be grandfathered in to NEM 2.0. 

The best course of action is to start the process as soon as possible--the sooner you begin, the sooner we can submit your interconnection application and make sure you stay locked in to NEM 2.0. 

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