Home Latest News State considering tax on solar panels | News – thepress.net

State considering tax on solar panels | News – thepress.net

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to continue reading.
Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a new subscription to continue reading.
Thank you for Reading! We hope that you continue to enjoy our free content.
Welcome! We hope that you enjoy our free content.
Thank you for Reading! On your next view you will be asked to log in or create an account and purchase a new subscription to continue reading.
Thank you for reading eight articles this month! We appreciate your support. If you want unlimited digital access, please consider a subscription. You can sign up online or call us at 925-634-1441.
Thank you for signing in! We hope that you continue to enjoy our free content.
Thank you for Reading! We hope that you continue to enjoy our free content.
Thank you for Reading! We hope that you continue to enjoy our free content.
Thank you for Reading! We hope that you continue to enjoy our free content.
Thank you for Reading! We hope that you continue to enjoy our free content.
Thank you for Reading! We hope that you continue to enjoy our free content.
Checking back? Since you viewed this item previously you can read it again.
Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a new subscription to continue reading.
Please purchase a subscription to continue reading.
Your current subscription does not provide access to this content.
Sorry, no promotional deals were found matching that code.
Promotional Rates were found for your code.
Sorry, an error occurred.

do not remove
Clear to partly cloudy. Low 56F. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph..
Clear to partly cloudy. Low 56F. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph.
Updated: September 16, 2022 @ 6:06 pm
Photo courtesy of Metro Creative
There are several benefits to putting solar on your home or business.

Photo courtesy of Metro Creative
There are several benefits to putting solar on your home or business.
A planned proposal has California residents possibly digging a little deeper into their pockets if they are planning on going green and installing solar panels.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is considering a proposal to tax residential rooftop solar installations at an average of $57 a month. The proposal, which was first visited in 2020, is raising concerns that the proposed tax increase could make solar unaffordable for working and middle class individuals at a time where solar energy is starting to take off.
“Solar is good for the consumer and it is good for the environment,” said Executive Director of Solar Rights Alliance Dave Rosenfeld. “But the energy company is a monopoly; rooftop solar is competition for them. It reduces their profits. They want to charge ratepayers what they want.”
Solar energy is one of the fastest growing clean energy sources in the United States. With more than three million solar installations nationwide, about 1 million installations were built in the last two years alone.
California leads the nation in small-scale solar energy production, driven in large part by California’s high population, abundant sunshine, and numerous government programs and incentives, according to data from USAFacts.org.
Further data from the Solar Rights Alliance website shows that more than 1 million homes, 2,000 schools, 1,000 farms, and more than 300 apartment buildings statewide are powered directly by the sun, thus helping to reduce air pollution and assisting with climate change by looking to greener sources of energy, with 400 new consumers a day converting to solar to help reduce pollution and fight climate change.
Furthermore, more consumers are adding sun-charged batteries to their solar systems, with more than 30,000 batteries statewide that can provide pollution-free electricity when use of the state’s electric grid is high and stressed.
A potential solar tax of between $300 and $600 a year, depending on the amount of solar energy that is produced, opponents argue, could make solar unaffordable for some as well as threaten many small businesses and jobs, according to the Solar Rights Alliance website. The average residential solar installations are 8kW, which could mean consumers would be charged an additional $64 for the typical customer connecting to the power grid. Furthermore, the credit that solar users receive could be slashed by 80 percent, opponents say, dropping from 25 cents per kilowatt to five cents, and could roll back protections from existing solar users.
“It’s quite surprising that the CPUC is considering reductions in the net metering reimbursement and taxing residential consumers a per kW charge,” said retired Waste and Recycling Information Technology Specialist Mike McLaughlin. “This will more than likely reduce solar installations going forward, making them less cost effective. I think we are looking at increased costs, which will impact future installations which go against the states’ ‘all electric’ goals.”
Solar installations have come a long way from where it used to be 15 years ago. According to Rosenfeld, solar installations were rare and used to cost $40 per watt. But with the continued and sustained growth of home solar installations, prices have fallen dramatically, currently costing about $3 or $4 per watt.
“To get solar before, you had to be rich or really technical,” said Rosenfeld. “The price continues to fall. The only question that we have to ask ourselves is how do we get solar into the hands of schools, businesses, and working class families? How do we attach it to a battery? Imagine if there was another 1.5 million rooftop solar installations. The price would go down some more. How do we make batteries so cheap and affordable? Instead, the government is listening to utilities to say ‘slow it down, make it more expensive.”
According to Rosenfeld, the utility companies don’t make much money on electricity alone. Their business model is built off of the construction of long distance power lines, where they have a deal in place with the state to get a guaranteed 7%-10% profit building long distance power lines throughout the state. In 2018, the efficiency of rooftop solar installations prompted the state to scale back more than 20 planned power line projects, thus saving the state $2.6 billion. The thought is that by maximizing rooftop solar installations, it could potentially save ratepayers $120 billion over the next 30 years.
“There was so much energy efficiency that they canceled it,” added Rosenfeld. “That project got taken off the table, and they lost profits. If we can continue to grow rooftop solar and hybrid systems with batteries, that would cut $120 billion out of the system. If you cut $120 billion out of the system and multiply that by 7%, that is a lot of bananas that they are going to lose out on.”
CPUC has been proceeding since 2020 with the goal of making changes to their net metering policy. A net-metering tariff was proposed in August 2020, which governs how rates are calculated for rooftop solar customers as their solar panels interact with the grid throughout the day, according to information from CPUC’s website on net energy metering. The CPUC issued a proposal to modify this tariff in December 2021 with a successor tariff called the “Net Billing Tariff”. The proposal features four key components:
• paying net billing customers for electricity they export to the grid based on value
• charges net billing customers for the electricity they receive based off of high differential time-of-use tariffs
• creates a grid participation charge based on the size of a consumers’ solar system
• provides a market transition credit allowing customers to pay back the cost of a new solar system and storage energy system in less than 10 years.
According to Rosenfeld, the proposal was widely seen as a disaster, which included a $700 tax a year proposal and an 80% cut in credit consumers get with sharing energy in the grid, which would have doubled the cost of going solar. This resulted in a gigantic public backlash, with 600 nonprofits, cities, business, and community leaders all collectively rejecting CPUC’s proposed changes, with over 150,000 California residents submitting written public statements opposing this proposal.
According to the CPUC timeline, the agency adopted a decision extending the statutory deadline in this proceeding to Aug. 27, 2023. However, Rosenfeld said he believes a decision could be imminent.
“We’re still waiting on them to issue a revised proposal, which could happen on Sept. 29, 2022,” said Rosenfeld. “A final decision could take place in either November or December. We think that this will get wrapped up by the end of the year. It could come sooner or later.”
In the meantime, while a final decision looms, hope remains that potential relief could be on the way, while disappointment is markedly evident in the planned tax proposal.
“I’m questioning why I added solar panels to my home,” added McLaughlin. “In part, it was to help the state achieve green energy independence. Now solar connected homes are going to be penalized. This is counterintuitive to the states’ own goals at a time we are expected to switch to all electric vehicles and appliances in the very near future. You’re going to need many more rooftop solar installations, not less. Adding solar to my rooftop is putting energy back into the grid, why would you penalize us for that?”
Rosenfeld added, “People are struggling to pay their electricity bills and rooftop solar is the only thing that is allowing people to take control of their energy bill. Dialysis machines, ventilators, refrigerators for your meds. This is deadly serious. California is going big on these things like wind, biogas, and solar. The state says by 2035, it’s going to need 100GW of solar. We need to triple it over the next decade. We can’t do it off of solar farms alone. We need to pick up the pace with everything.”
Further information on the solar rights movement can be found at https://solarrights.org/. Additional information on CPUC’s net energy metering revisiting can be found at https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/nemrevisit.
Not a subscriber? Click here to add your comment to the story!

Your comment has been submitted.

Reported
There was a problem reporting this.
Log In
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.
Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.
Now, more than ever, our community needs trustworthy reporting—but good journalism isn’t free. Please support us by making a contribution.
Subscribe for as little as $20 a year!

source

Previous articleBitcoin (BTC) will drop to $15K, be ready — analysts take – Crypto News Flash
Next articleApple Watch buying guide: Which wearable is best for you? – Ars Technica