CPUC Decisions Imperil Rooftop Solar in California, Jeopardizing the State’s Clean Energy Goals
Friday, Dec 01 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A series of decisions by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) are devastating the state’s rooftop solar industry. Following a December 2022 decision to transition from net metering to a new net billing structure, the CPUC has approved additional rules that make it harder than expected for solar businesses to operate and for Californians to choose solar.
Following is a statement from Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA):
“While the solar and storage industry adapts to an abrupt shift to net billing, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has added insult to injury with a series of damaging decisions that completely change the environment for rooftop solar in California.
“Earlier this month, the Commission approved rules that do not allow schools, farms, and small businesses to fully benefit from their onsite solar generation, and just this week, it disallowed solar and storage customers from using the excess energy they generate to offset utility delivery charges. This change extends the payback period for solar and storage customers far beyond what the CPUC used to justify the new net billing structure, and it weakens the grid by disincentivizing energy storage additions.
“The result of these decisions is that California’s residential solar market is expected to decline by 40% next year, and the state’s commercial rooftop sector is expected to decline by 25% from 2024 to 2025. In human terms, this drop off means thousands of jobs will be lost and California will take a massive step back in its fight against climate change, which is already impacting communities across the state.
“The solar and storage industry is calling on state leaders and the CPUC to change course before they cause more damage to America’s leading clean energy market.”
The Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA) is leading the transformation to a clean energy economy, creating the framework for solar to achieve 30% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies and other strategic partners to fight for policies that create jobs in every community and shape fair market rules that promote competition and the growth of reliable, low-cost solar power. Founded in 1974, SEIA is the national trade association for the solar and solar + storage industries, building a comprehensive vision for the Solar+ Decade through research, education and advocacy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org and follow @SEIA on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Morgan Lyons, SEIA's Director of Communications, [email protected] (202) 556-2872