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New Assembly Bill Would Restore Solar Power Reimbursements to Homeowners
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By Nancy Price, Multimedia Journalist
Published 2 months ago on
February 16, 2024

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Assemblyman Damon Connolly wants to roll back a tariff that reduced utility company payments to solar customers for their surplus energy.

Connolly says the tariff is stifling the state’s solar industry and could jeopardize California’s clean energy goals.

It’s the latest legislation introduced to counter recent decisions by the California Public Utilities Commission.


A Northern California lawmaker has introduced legislation that would repeal a solar metering tariff that sharply cut how much utility companies pay homeowners for surplus energy generated on their residential solar systems.

Assembly Bill 2619, introduced by Assemblymember Damon Connolly, D-San Rafael, would repeal Net Energy Metering 3.0 and require the California Public Utilities Commission to create a new rule structure that will still enable the state to meet its clean-energy goals. California is committed to having carbon-free energy by 2045.

NEM 3.0, which the CPUC approved in December 2022, cut incentives by 75%. And that has discouraged homeowners from installing new systems, Connolly said. Not only is the state’s solar industry in dire jeopardy of losing jobs and businesses, but the slowdown in new installations will slow the pace of increasing solar energy generation on rooftops, he said.

Solar power has been identified as one of the keys to the state achieving its goal of 90% carbon-free electricity by 2035 and 100% by 2045.

“When talking with North Bay residents and Californians throughout the state, it’s clear that additional taxes on solar and the removal of incentives that have helped offset the cost of solar installation has had severe consequences on our ability to generate clean energy,” Connolly said in a news release this week.

“The NEM 3.0 decision has clearly disincentivized clean energy adoption with rooftop solar sales down between 66 to 83 percent and thousands of workers left without good-paying jobs. AB 2619 will restore our commitment to a sustainable, clean energy future and provide relief to Californians who are suffering under these new rules. We must commit to our goal of achieving 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2045.”

Incentivizing Solar

Years ago to entice Californians to adopt solar energy systems, the state created tariffs that provided big incentives, including requiring utility companies to pay retail rates to solar customers for their surplus power. But, under NEM 3.0, the utilities now pay customers wholesale rates for their surplus power, which makes the systems less affordable and has reduced the sale of new systems.

Meanwhile, the cost of providing power is nearing a crisis, as solar customers who generate their own electricity do not pay as much for the maintenance and upkeep of the grid as nonsolar customers. The public utilities combine the costs of electricity with grid maintenance and improvements in the kilowatt-hour charges.

To correct that cost shift, the PUC is considering implementing fixed charges for all customers that would be income-determined, with more affluent customers — even if they already have solar powering their homes — paying higher fixed charges, and lower-income residents paying lower fixed charges.

But that plan also has come under attack, with Democrats who voted to approve legislation that gave the CPUC the authority to establish fixed charges introducing legislation to roll back the mandate.

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Nancy Price,
Multimedia Journalist
Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

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