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Rooftop solar panels installation incentives may be cut

California’s 26-year-old initiative to encourage more people to install Solar panels on their houses has been a huge success, but state officials are considering reducing the incentives for people to go solar in order to lower electricity prices for the rest of the state’s citizens.

Residential solar users can currently sell any energy they don’t use back to power companies at the retail cost for power, resulting in a significant reduction in their energy bills. Solar consumers, on the other hand, are no longer paying their fair amount for the functioning of the entire energy grid, according to power firms.

The future of the “net energy metering” programme has sparked a heated argument between the state’s major utilities and the solar industry. On Monday, the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates the state’s major utilities and the rates they can charge, is slated to release recommended improvements. It comes as California works to meet its lofty renewable energy targets. The net metering programme in California began in 1995 with the intention of increasing solar adoption amid the state’s typically sunny climate.

According to the solar industry, California now has more than 1.3 million household solar installations than any other state. This figure will only rise because Solar panels are required in all newly constructed homes in California beginning in 2020. As Solar panels became more common, though, criticism of the scheme rose. The main utility corporations, including Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison, claim that the existing system permits solar consumers to sell their energy back into the grid for more than it is worth.

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