Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Second Department


Reader 1

Brinda Sarathy

Reader 2

Maya Federman

Rights Information

© 2016 Jesse Honig


As an increasing number of homeowners decide to take advantage of distributed renewable resources such as rooftop solar, we may need to rethink the current regulatory paradigm and governance structure of the electric market. This thesis examines the shortcomings of current net metering programs in California. While the current Net Metering 2.0 proceeding highlights a clash of solar advocates and electric utilities, it is in fact revealing an underlying structural flaw that has been present all along. In order to send the appropriate price signals to solar customers, both the structure by which utilities recover costs and the rate at which solar customers are compensated must be reconceived. I show how the current debates over the appropriate price to compensate solar customer are built on a flawed rate structure. Without addressing the underlying inefficiencies of current rate structures, it is unlikely that we will maintain utilities’ financial ability to operate and maintain grid infrastructure and provide solar customers with the proper incentives to reach the ideal transition to solar energy.