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Two Big Wins For Rooftop Solar #gosolar

The final days of 2015 brought encouraging news for homeowners looking to go solar, with policies secured at both the federal and state level to ensure solar will be a great investment for years to come.

On December 18, President Obama signed legislation to extend a 30% residential solar tax credit through 2019. The tax credit, applied when homeowners file federal taxes in April, covers 30% of solar installation costs for homeowners anywhere in the United States. 

More positive news for California homeowners came just a few days earlier in December, when the Public Utilities Commission issued a proposed ruling to continue net metering, which compensates homeowners for excess solar generation. The proposed ruling protects the homeowners ability to receive credit for their excess electricity at its full retail value. Utility companies were trying to eliminate this retail compensation, and were also attempting to assess fixed additional charges for those using solar. 

The decision, while still awaiting final approval, is a step in the right direction for increasing the amount of solar energy produced in California and will protect rooftop solar by ensuring that homeowners get a great return on their solar investment. As stated by Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of state solar industry association CalSEIA, “Governor Brown’s PUC is standing up for clean power and for customers by proposing to reject the utilities’ attempts to make solar out of reach for customers.”

Thanks to these key rulings, 2016 will be a fantastic year to go solar. In addition to favorable government policies, the cost of installing panels continues to fall. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the cost of installing solar has fallen by more than 45% since 2010. Many solar companies also offer options for a no-cost transition to solar through leasing. 

To help home owners take advantage of this great opportunity to go solar, CEC’s Solarize program will offer several more community-led group purchasing programs in 2016, connecting participants with discounted rates from pre-vetted installers. Join our mailing list to find out when a Solarize program is launching in your neighborhood, and read more about this program at CECSolarize.org.

Jefferson Litten

Director of Energy and Climate Programs at Community Environmental Council
As Director of Energy and Climate Programs, Jefferson Litten administers CEC’s initiatives in renewable energy, sustainable transportation and energy efficiency. Jefferson leads CEC’s effort to bring community choice energy to Santa Barbara and sits on the South County Energy Efficiency Partnership (SCEEP), a collaboration of government energy managers and local utilities.

Prior to joining CEC, Jefferson worked as a Project Analyst at Champlin Windpower and also for Energy Independence Now, where he analyzed hydrogen infrastructure in the transportation sector. Jefferson is a board officer at both the Central Coast Green Building Council and at the Alumni Council of the Emerging Leaders Program. He holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at UCSB and a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University.
Jefferson Litten

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