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Los Angeles Times ($):

California officials want to slash payments for rooftop solar power, saying the changes would help the state achieve 100% clean energy while keeping the lights on, preventing electricity rates from rising and encouraging people to install batteries.

But solar executives are furious with the changes, saying they would backfire and crater a thriving industry.

The proposal from Martha Guzman Aceves, one of five members of the California Public Utilities Commission, would revamp an incentive program called net energy metering that has helped the state become a national solar power leader, with more than 1.3 million rooftop and other small-scale systems installed. The solar industry and climate change advocacy groups are lobbying Gov. Gavin Newsom and his appointees on the utilities commission to keep the program’s basic tenets unchanged.

California is home to about 40% of the nation’s residential solar energy capacity.

Other elements of the commissioner’s proposal would prompt Californians to switch from gasoline to electric vehicles, and from natural gas furnaces and stoves to electric appliances fueled by solar and wind energy, Guzman Aceves said — key pieces of California’s war on climate change. For instance, homes and businesses that add solar panels would be allowed to build much bigger systems than is currently allowed under net metering, to support lifestyles that are increasingly powered by electricity.

[Sammy Roth]

More: California proposes big changes to rooftop solar incentives

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