California Seeks More Time to Overhaul Rooftop-Solar Subsidy




  • In Business
  • 2022-08-15 23:40:33Z
  • By Bloomberg
 

(Bloomberg) -- A California agency is seeking more time to determine how to reform a solar-incentive program that's helped rooftop solar flourish in the state.

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A draft proposal before the California Public Utilities Commission would extend the deadline by a year to Aug. 27, 2023, according to a filing.

The commission is attempting to overhaul an incentive program -- known as net-metering -- that helped make rooftop systems mainstream but has drawn criticism for raising power bills for poor and middle-class Californians. The commission's initial proposal sparked a fierce debate over how to balance the fight against climate change with a push to bolster social and economic equity.

An earlier proposal risked slowing the growth of solar, an instrumental part of the state's effort to fully green its electrical system by 2045. That plan would have reduced rooftop incentives by as much as 80% -- and required a new monthly fee for residents who install solar. Research firm Wood Mackenzie said that plan would have cut that market in half by 2024.

In the filing, a judge for the utilities commission said it needed additional time to consider comments associated with the case. The potential extension is the latest indication that the commission is likely to make changes to the earlier proposed reform, according to analysts at ClearView Energy Partners in a note Monday.

(Updates with analyst commentary in final paragraph)

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