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Critics slam proposed revamp of California’s solar net energy metering rate

Codes and Standards

Critics slam proposed revamp of California’s solar net energy metering rate

Could make rooftop solar panels unaffordable for most customers.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | January 25, 2022
Solar panels

Courtesy Pixabay

A proposed revision of California’s solar net energy metering rate would be disastrous for the goal of advancing solar power, according to a utility rate design expert and economist.

As reported at PV magazine, the proposed decision by the California Public Utilities Commission would increase the payback period for rooftop solar to over 20 years, according to Dr. Ahmad Faruqui. Under current rules, the payback period is between seven and nine years. The expected lifespan of solar panels is 20 to 25 years, making a 20-year payback unattractive to most homeowners, critics charge.

The new proposal would mean that a customer with a moderate system size of 7 kW would pay an additional $56 per month for fixed charges alone. In addition, the plan would lower solar export payments by nearly 80%.

Proposal opponents are calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to intervene.

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