Solar Industry Applauds Proposed Decision from California Public Utilities Commission to Preserve Net Metering

Maintaining net metering is key to California’s climate leadership and its clean energy job growth.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today applauded the California Public Utilities Commission's proposal to preserve net metering. Maintaining net metering is key to California's climate leadership and its clean energy job growth.

"The Commission has worked tirelessly to review a mountain of comments and testimony and we are pleased that their review has led them to affirm the importance of continuing net metering," said Sean Gallagher, SEIA's Vice President of State Affairs. "Should the Commission vote to preserve net metering, the state will be taking a vital step toward meeting its climate goals, while allowing solar to reach a growing number of Californians."

California is currently ranked No. 1 in the United States for installed rooftop solar, with more than 450,000 systems installed. As more systems are installed, a growing number of California customers are realizing the benefits of rooftop solar, particularly 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.

The growing number of households and businesses benefiting from solar led to a historic amount of public comment in support of net metering from many groups including solar workers, schools, farmers, faith communities, local government officials, tribal organizations, and organizations representing social justice issues and communities of color. Given the broad array of Californians benefiting from solar, a strong final decision is of critical importance.

"It is important to note that this is a massive document and we have just begun to review it," Gallagher said. "Especially given the importance of this decision to the industry, its employees and customers, we need to assess the potential impacts of elements of the proposal, such as a move to mandatory time-of-use rates, which may create uncertainty as prospective customers assess how going solar will affect their electricity bills. We plan to submit comprehensive comments to the Commission in the coming weeks."

Today, there are nearly 2,400 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in California employing approximately 55,000 people, representing manufacturers, contractors, project developers, distributors and installers.

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