Karl RabagoKarl Rabago (Rabago Energy LLC)

#SolarMOOC Lecture: Net Metering 2.0, the Value of Solar TariffThursday, November 1, 2012

Karl Rabago, heralded as one of the U.S. energy industry’s most brilliant, dynamic personalities, established Rabago Energy LLC in June 2012 when he left his position as Vice President of Distributed Energy Services with Austin Energy. His more than 20 years in the clean energy and electric utility fields include service as Public Utility Commissioner and Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Energy.

Austin has a maturing solar market that supports over 76 companies and as many as 2,109 direct and indirect jobs, and has been declared by  Mayor Lee Leffingwell as the “Clean Energy Capital of the World”.

To sustain this reputation as a shining star, Austin Energy needed a simple, manageable program, de-coupled from other market incentives, that was fair overall to the utility while reimbursing customers for their clean power production at a rate fair to it’s value.  At the same time, this program needed to exist without burdening non-solar customers with bearing the brunt of the cost of maintaining the utility structure on their own. And, most importantly, it would need to reward conservation and efficiency, rather than encouraging higher consumption at peak times when the utility needs the excess power the most.

Working with utility and government stakeholders, third party researchers, and members of the burgeoning Austin solar community, Karl Rabago and his staff devised and implemented the “Value of Solar” rate, coupled with a tiered electricity rate structure. This program dubbed “Net Metering 2.0” has captured the attention of solar policymakers all over the world, earning Austin Energy SEPA’s “Public Power Utility of the Year” in June 2012, and an Innovation Award from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council in September 2012.

This one-hour lecture reviews the history and challenges of traditional net metering, whereby utility customers “net” their production of solar energy against their energy consumption (often describes as “spinning the meter backwards”), and describe the premise and mechanics of the Austin Energy’s innovative new program.

Watch his lecture here:

Net Metering 2.0, the Value of Solar Tariff


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