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California Announces Plans to Cut Rooftop Solar Incentives—Here’s What That Means for Homeowners

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California Announces Plans to Cut Rooftop Solar Incentives—Here’s What That Means for Homeowners

California's solar incentive program just took a major hit after the state’s Public Utilities Commission voted to reduce payments to solar customers

December 16, 2022
Solar panels on rooftop in California next to palm trees
Image: Stock.adobe.com

For years, California’s progressive solar incentives have helped 1.5 million homes and businesses install solar panels on their roofs and have made the state a leader in the race to fight climate change, but a unanimous vote by the state’s Public Utilities Commission could create a new hurdle for proponents of clean energy. Commissioners voted to reduce payments to solar customers for the electricity they generate, arguing that the state’s incentive program results in higher electric bills for households without rooftop solar panels, including those who can’t afford them. 

Homes and businesses that already have solar won’t see their payments go down, but according to the Los Angeles Times, the new ruling will affect rates paid for solar power by the state’s three largest monopoly utility companies: Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric.

Those companies spent years urging state officials to reduce rooftop solar incentives — as did consumer watchdogs and a handful of environmental groups, which agreed with the utilities that non-solar households have been forced to pay higher bills as a result of the incentive program known as net metering.

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