Demand Has Plunged 80% Since California Cut Home Solar Payments

"As rooftop solar projects have plummeted, about 17,000 workers could lose their jobs. Will this derail the state’s climate and clean energy goals?"

"Weldon Kennedy and his wife make it their business to keep up with California’s fast-changing clean energy landscape. So when the climate-conscious couple began planning to add a solar system to the roof of their Oakland home, they took their time to talk to installers and shop around for the best deal.

But then, last spring, he heard that a neighbor had decided to accelerate their solar project. Other homeowners in the area were rushing to get in line, too.

“I don’t think I fully understood the scope of it, but I had people telling me, ‘You better get going, get your solar now,’ ” Kennedy said. “It seemed like a bunch of tomfoolery was coming down.”

Kennedy’s neighbors and other consumers were reacting to a profound policy shift in California: The state Public Utilities Commission in late 2022 slashed by about 75% the rate that utilities pay homeowners with new solar panels when they sell surplus power to the grid. The rate structure went into effect for solar applicants beginning last April."

Julie Cart reports for CalMatters January 26, 2024.

Source: CalMatters, 01/29/2024