California may be the solar power leader in the U.S. but the dependency on such energy is reportedly creating roadblocks for other green initiatives. As such, the California Public Utilities Commission is recommending changes to the state’s solar incentives, leaving some scratching their heads.
According to the L.A Times, the proposal would phase out net metering in an effort to encourage new and existing solar customers to add battery storage systems that can bank clean energy for after dark—specifically hoping to reduce strain on the state’s energy system during hot summer evenings. Additionally, the commission is recommending that payments to newly enrolled solar customers be lowered in exchange for the electricity they send to the power grid when their systems generate more energy than they need.
New solar customers would also pay a monthly “grid participation charge” per month to help cover the costs of maintaining the grid. The L.A. Times notes that, under the new proposal, a home with a six-kilowatt system would be charged $48 a month, or $576 a year. Low-income homes would be exempt from the fee.
Solar power execs, however, argue that such changes will impose discriminatory charges on solar and energy storage, per the L.A. Times.
Additional recommendations in the proposal include the creation of a new “storage evolution fund” that would offer payments for homes that already have solar panels to add storage, as well as efforts to encourage Californians to switch from gasoline to electric vehicles and from natural gas furnaces and stoves to electric appliances fueled by solar and wind energy.
For more on this story from the L.A. Times, click here.