Solar panel installers with Hot Purple Energy (Paul Lemon, right, of Morongo Valley and Phillip Wittwer) bolt on solar panels in a 54 panel home installation job in Rancho Mirage in 2012.

Later this year, the California Public Utilities Commission expects to update the rules over how owners of rooftop solar systems are compensated. If the past is any indication, the debate will be a fierce one between the state’s utilities and the solar industry.

Monday marked the day the two sides — as well as other interested parties in the debate — had to turn in proposals to the commission concerning net energy metering.

The big three investor-owned utilities — San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric — turned in a joint proposal that looks to resolve their complaints that net energy metering results in a “cost-shift” that unfairly burdens customers who do not have solar installations at their homes and businesses. “The structure to compensate solar customers is in desperate need of reform,” said Scott Crider, SDG&E’s chief customer officer.

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