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California Makes the Most of Golden State Net Metering Opportunity

Thursday, Jan 28 2016

Dan Whitten


The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) affirmed its place as one of the most forward-looking state agencies in the nation today by voting 3-2 to open doors to solar energy in a diverse set of homes and communities throughout the state. 

Today’s decision builds on the state’s long-standing clean energy leadership and more recent initiatives by Gov. Brown and the legislature to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2030 to meet the state's climate change goals, while increasing renewable energy to 50 percent of the state’s electricity supply. This ensures fairness to utilities, customers and solar companies alike. 

By approving a strong net metering policy, the CPUC is keeping the state on track to meet its grid modernization and decarbonization goals, and establishes a projected $1.6 billion in annual benefits that all Californians will enjoy as a result of continuing net metering.

For more background on SEIA’s position on the CPUC proceedings, please read the op-ed SEIA’s vice president of state affairs, Sean Gallagher, authored prior to the vote:

Today, California’s solar energy industry employs over 55,000 people in more than 2,000 companies across the state.

More than 450,000 electricity customers in California have installed solar systems, and these customers are increasingly in lower and moderate income areas of the state. Recent research has shown that 65 percent of residential solar is being installed in communities with median incomes below $70,000, up from 49 percent in 2008. Net metering will be key to ensuring this trend continues.