Ben Christopher and Julie Cart, CALMATTERS
The utilities commission reduced payments to apartments, schools and businesses selling solar power to the grid despite a barrage of criticism. Commissioners say it reverses unfair subsidies.
After months of debate and two postponed votes, California’s utility regulator unanimously voted today to overhaul incentives for owners of apartment buildings, schools and businesses that install solar panels.
The new regulations are the second major step that the California Public Utilities Commission has taken in the past year to reduce power companies’ financial support for rooftop solar. In December, the commission reduced payments to homeowners who sell excess power from newly installed solar panels on single-family homes.
Still, for solar advocates, it could have been worse.
Thanks to a last-minute regulatory tweak, the new rules today stop short of a previous proposal that solar industry groups and housing-related interests warned would result in the “evisceration” of the multifamily solar market.