Nov 10 (Reuters) – California regulators on Thursday revised their proposal for rooftop solar systems credits, a contentious matter as the state tries to expand renewable energy and respond to critics who want more equitable distribution of incentives.
The new proposal offers hundreds of millions of dollars of new support for low-income customers, while excluding a monthly tax for solar homes to connect to the grid, a move critics say effectively favors richer Californians as they own the lion’s share of the clean energy system.
In a 250-page proposed decision, regulators outlined reforms to the so-called “net energy metering”, a state policy that issues credits to solar energy customers for generating excess electricity and feeding it back to the grid.
The proposal will not affect current home solar owners and will maintain their current compensation, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) said. It withdrew a previous proposal from December last year that would have charged Californians with new solar installations a hefty $8 per kilowatt per month to cover the cost of maintaining the grid.
Shares of rooftop solar system providers, including Sunrun Inc (RUN.O), SunPower Corp (SPWR.O) and Sunnova Energy International Inc (NOVA.N), closed 20% to 27% higher on Thursday.
“This has been an overhang for rooftop solar stocks that would be alleviated if passed similar to today’s proposal,” said Morningstar analyst Brett Castelli.
However, the proposal would also reduce export rates, or credits customers receive for feeding their surplus solar power back into utilities.
Though the solar industry is still reviewing the …….