“Under the CPUC’s leadership California is responsible for the largest loss of solar jobs in our nation’s history”

Yesterday the Court of Appeal of the First Appellate District upheld the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) December 2022 “NEM 3” decision that drastically reduced the credits solar consumers receive for sharing their excess energy back to the grid. The California Solar & Storage Association (CALSSA) released the following statement from CALSSA Executive Director Bernadette Del Chiaro on the court’s ruling:

“The deck – in terms of the 2013 legislation requiring a reevaluation of net energy metering and the CPUC process itself – was stacked against solar from the beginning. Because of that we are disappointed, but unfortunately not surprised, by the court’s decision. We are grateful for the efforts of our environmental partners to exhaust every opportunity to reverse a misguided change to solar incentives that is already costing 17,000 jobs, closing businesses, and pushing California off our track to 100% clean energy.”

NEM 3 Background

Just over seven months ago the Governor Newsom-appointed California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) made drastic reductions to Net Energy Metering — the program responsible for reducing the costs of going solar and making California a solar leader — by slashing the value of solar energy shared back to the grid by solar homes and businesses by 70-80% overnight. At the same time, the Commission and Governor Newsom promised to provide incentives for energy storage to help soften the blow but these incentives have yet to materialize or be fulfilled.

Since the CPUC’s decision, the solar industry is experiencing devastating results in the form of business closures and depression-level layoffs at a time when California should be celebrating a golden age of clean energy growth.

A survey of California solar and storage companies found 17,000 jobs have or will be lost by the end of 2023 due the recent net metering changes. The massive job loss represents 22% of all solar jobs in California and is the largest loss of solar jobs in U.S. history.

Despite the consequences, the CPUC continues to move in the wrong direction on solar. In November, the CPUC voted to stifle the growth of solar again, this time making solar unaffordable for multimeter properties like schools, farms, small businesses, and apartments.

For more information on solar job losses in California: