California pushes a new plan to cut rooftop solar incentives
On Tuesday, Sacramento County passed a new measure that will eliminate the California’s program to provide rooftop solar systems to about 830,000 residents. In addition, the county will no longer issue rebates on solar equipment or pay the owners who sell their solar equipment in the state.
According to the California Energy Commission, the solar energy programs saved nearly $1.2 billion annually to utilities, the state and local governments. Most of these savings were from avoided energy costs and energy purchased through the federal energy tax credits.
The new measure follows news from San Francisco that it is eliminating a solar incentive program. Earlier this year, the California Energy Commission voted to eliminate one of the most advantageous state solar incentives in the nation. The bill would eliminate the rebates given to solar installers who sell their systems and would make solar equipment tax-exempt, but it would still allow rooftop solar systems to qualify.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the city government will continue to offer rebates to homeowners who install solar water heaters, but the program will be renamed Solar for All. Solar for All will provide residents with tax credits of up to $20,000, which would pay for solar water heaters.
New York City is also considering reducing incentives to install rooftop solar systems on homes and businesses. According to the International Business Times, the city’s plan would lower the amount of the rebate to $20,000, which would make rooftop solar systems less attractive.
“The state has made solar a reality in America. But what many people fail to understand is that solar is not just about the money. It’s about the health of our environment,” said John Laird, CEO of Soli-Cal, a nonprofit organization that advocates for energy-efficient buildings. “The cost of installing a solar system on any home has significantly decreased in recent years. A simple, single-family home can install a rooftop solar system for as little as $2,000.”
Some cities and states are giving incentives to their residents to purchase solar equipment. In California, the City of Pasadena, the state’s largest city, is issuing incentives of up to $5,000 for residents who want to purchase systems. Other cities, such as San Jose, have also issued similar incentives.
For instance, San Jose launched a program in February that offers city and state incentives for