California Slashes Solar Panel Subsidies In The Name Of ‘Equity’

(Photo by DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

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Jack McEvoy Energy & Environment Reporter
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The California Public Utilities Commission voted Thursday to heavily reduce the subsidies homeowners receive for using solar panels because they “disproportionately” harm low-income residents.

Starting in April 2023, the state commission will slash the money that Californians receive for generating extra electricity with their solar installations by roughly 75%, according to Bloomberg. The regulators stated that the previous rule, which paid solar users full retail electricity price for excess power, primarily benefitted the wealthy and hurt low-income and “disadvantaged” residents as they are less likely to own solar panels, according to a November proposal. (RELATED: Gavin Newsom Shells Out $1.6 Million To Stop Climate Measure That Would Raise Taxes On The Rich)

“The new tariff promotes solar systems and battery storage with a focus on equity and advances the new clean energy technologies we need to meet our climate goals and help ensure grid reliability,” California Public Utilities Commission President Alice Reynolds said in a statement.

The new rules will provide $900 million in incentive payments to residents to help them purchase rooftop solar systems; however, two-thirds of the funds, $630 million, will be set aside for low-income households, according to the proposal. Additionally, the commission will provide low-income customers, residents living in “disadvantaged communities” and residents living in California Indian Country with more than double the number of extra electricity credits to incentivize them to install solar panels.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 06: (L-R) California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference on October 06, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom plans to have the state offset or remove as many greenhouse gas emissions as it produces by 2045 and is expanding the use of green energy technologies such as solar panels to meet this goal. An estimated 1.5 million California residents, businesses and other entities employ rooftop solar panels to generate roughly 12 gigawatts of electricity generation, according to the proposal.

The California Public Utilities Commission did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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