California regulators have proposed significant changes to the state’s solar incentive program, drawing strong opposition from industry advocates.
The new policy would reduce net-energy metering payments to solar customers for the excess power they generate and add monthly charges for customers. The changes would affect consumers and businesses who already have rooftop panels and customers that install new PVs.
The California Public Utilities Commission said the proposed changes are intended to encourage consumers to install battery storage systems so they can store excess power generated by solar panels and supply it back to the grid later. The Commission also addressed a perceived advantage enjoyed by wealthier ratepayers who have been more likely to install PVs due to the high up-front cost.
The current net-energy metering policy “disproportionately harms low-income ratepayers,” the Commission says. The proposed changes include a $600 million fund to help low-income customers access distributed clean energy.