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Damon Connolly Brings New Legislation To Restore NEM Incentives for Solar Homeowners

Aerial top view of new modern residential house cottage with blue shiny solar photo voltaic panels system on roof
  • Damon Connolly of the California Assembly has called for the repeal of the state’s NEM 3.0 regime  
  • His Assembly Bill 2619 proposes to restore incentives to solar homeowners while prohibiting the imposition of charges, taxes, and fees 
  • He demands a new rule structure for the segment, aligned with SB 100 to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045 

The California State Assembly Member Damon Connolly has called for the US state to repeal its existing Net Energy Metering (NEM) regime that he claims has jeopardized California’s ability to meet its ambitious clean energy goals. 

A new legislation Assembly Bill (AB) 2619 introduced by him demands restoring incentives to solar homeowners in the state. Connolly blames the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) decision to impose NEM 3.0 as having led to a loss of some 17,000 jobs. 

He explains, “The NEM 3.0 decision has clearly disincentivized clean energy adoption with rooftop solar sales down between 66 to 83 percent (compared to the same time in 2022) and thousands of workers left without good-paying jobs.” 

Notably, the CPUC had implemented the NEM 3.0 from April 15, 2023. It cut down incentives available to homeowners for selling surplus solar energy generated by their rooftop solar system by close to 75% (see ‘Dark Day’ For California As Net Metering Changes Proposed). 

This drastically pulled down demand for solar in the state, down by 90% since 2022, according to Connolly. This lack of demand dealt a blow to the solar industry with job layoffs and financial losses (see Troubled Times For US Solar PV Industry?). 

It is believed to have far-reaching impacts. A recent analysis of Fitch Solutions’ BMI forecasts a slowdown in PV installations globally post-2024, blaming macroeconomic conditions, including NEM 3.0 (see BMI: Expect Subdued Global Solar PV Growth Till 2032). 

“AB 2619 repeals NEM 3.0 and prohibits the imposition of charges, taxes, and fees that would further hamper the solar industry, while restoring the incentives for residential solar projects that have helped increase solar adoption in California and generate clean energy for the grid,” says Connolly. 

The legislation recommends creating a new rule structure based on the state’s Senate Bill (SB) 100 to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045 (see California Confirms 100% Clean Energy Target). Connolly, representing Marin County and Southern Sonoma County, says AB 2619 is now waiting to be assigned to a policy committee in the State Assembly. 

Solar industry body Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) believes that thanks to NEM 3.0, California’s residential solar market is likely to decline by 40% in 2024 and commercial rooftop by 25% from 2024 to 2025.The association has welcomed AB 2619.  

“Over the last year, the California rooftop solar and storage industry has struggled to adjust to the abrupt changes to California’s net metering program,” said SEIA’s California State Affairs Director, Stephanie Doyle. “The new bill would require the California Public Utilities Commission to develop a new solar tariff by 2027 and prohibit new fees on solar customers, helping to ensure that the solar market in California continues to grow.” 

Source from Taiyang News

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