California is considering a proposal to end incentives to residents who install solar panels on their rooftops. The state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) intends to do away with solar panel subsidies and charge a monthly fee for rooftop solar connections. The proposal calls for a $600 million fund to support California solar energy programs for low-income households.
Advocates of the new Net Met proposal say changes are necessary to improve access to clean energy for low-income communities. The current policy primarily benefits residents who are in a position both logistically and financially to install solar panels. Meanwhile, other residents face obstacles affording the cost and getting approval to install solar panels if they rent their homes.
However, critics of the proposal worry that removing financial incentives could slow the Golden State’s clean energy transition. They note that the incentives have helped California emerge as the nation’s leader in solar power provision.