California is being sued for its solar installers rule.

Fearing that the growth of California’s solar energy sector could stall, the industry association sued the state over new restrictions o...


Fearing that the growth of California’s solar energy sector could stall, the industry association sued the state over new restrictions on who can install batteries in solar units.

In the lawsuit, which was filed Friday, the California Solar and Storage Association asked the California Superior Court in San Francisco to overturn rule changes and allow current training standards to remain in place for those who are installing increasingly popular solar panels and batteries. systems.

“It’s devastating for California’s solar industry and the state’s ability to build a clean energy future,” Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the association, said in an interview. “What they’re saying is this stuff is so dangerous that only certified electricians can do it. We have no evidence, any evidence, that there is a problem.

Ms Del Chiaro said the new rules would affect hundreds of solar companies in the state and 35,000 workers. And with electricians already in high demand for construction projects and other services, finding enough people to meet the requirements, she said, will make it nearly impossible for solar and battery companies to deliver their supplies. products.

In two rule changes in July, the Contractors State License Board voted to prevent solar contractors from installing batteries in an effort to promote the safe installation of electrical equipment, requiring some workers to be certified electricians. Utility companies are exempt from the requirement, which takes effect November 1.

Michael Jamnetski, the council’s head of legislation, acknowledged on Tuesday that the actions may have had unintended consequences. But he said the board aims to help entrepreneurs keep their jobs going. “There was no expected market disruption,” he said.

California leads the country by far in solar installations, in part thanks to pressure from former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to have solar panels installed in one million homes – a goal the state achieved in December 2019 – and by efforts to replace fossil-fueled power plants with large-scale solar farms and other clean energy resources to cope with the impact of climate change.

Solar panels are now installed on rooftops, desert sands and agricultural fields from coast to coast, although the power source provides less than 4% of electricity production nationwide . In a report released this month, the Energy Department said solar power could help meet President Biden’s carbon reduction targets, but the nation would need up to 45% of its electricity from the sun.

In California, roof panels make up about 50 percent of the state’s solar market, and installers make up nearly three-quarters of the industry’s workforce, Ms. Del Chiaro said.

Solar power and rooftop batteries have become increasingly popular as extreme weather events linked to climate change, including forest fires and brutally high temperatures, have resulted in blackouts and power cuts. running.

The rooftop solar industry is also fighting with utility companies in California over the compensation consumers receive for the electricity their systems provide to the grid. Utilities want to add more fees while reducing the credit consumers receive, known as net metering, by up to 80 percent of the current dollar-for-dollar advantage.

The issue of net metering is under review by the California Public Utilities Commission.

With the licensing board rule change, Ms. Del Chiaro said California appeared to be going in the opposite direction of state and nation climate goals.

“It is totally unjustified,” she said.

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Newsrust - US Top News: California is being sued for its solar installers rule.
California is being sued for its solar installers rule.
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