Solar Nerd articles about: Legislation

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California net metering 3.0 frequently asked questions
California's new net metering rules (NEM 3): frequently asked questions
A much anticipated ruling on net metering by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) came down on December 15, to the disappointment of many in the solar industry. The 260 page decision by CPUC effectively ends net metering in California for new solar customers, replacing it with a “net billing” scheme with lower payments. It’s a major change for solar in California, which first enacted net metering back in 1996. Prospective and current solar homeowners in California will certainly have many questions about the new rules.
Breaking news
Inflation Reduction Act: what it means for home solar
After the death of the Build Back Better bill, a pared back climate bill that also died, machinations in the senate, and an unexpected last minute back-from-the-dead effort, President Biden signed the Investment Reduction Act this week. It’s being called the largest investment in combatting climate ever and the most significant environmental legislation since the Clean Air Act. The IRA covers a large swath of things intended to lower the cost of energy and prescription drugs, of which are outside the scope of this blog.
Photo of a HOA-type neighborhood.
Can a homeowners association prohibit solar panels?
A homeowner’s association (HOA) is a management organization for a private community that makes and enforces rules for that community. It collects fees that pays for the upkeep of common property of the neighborhood, such as landscaping costs and common areas. On top of that, an HOA often has bylaws designed to maintain a common appearance to homes. For example, it may dictate the type of roofing materials that are permitted or the color that you’re allowed to paint the exterior.
Photo of a house with all-black solar panels.
Latest attack on net metering in California defeated - for now
A revision to net metering rules in California that was working its way through the California Legislature failed to get enough votes on June 2 to move forward, killing the proposal for now. The proposal, Assembly Bill 1139, was authored by state assembly member Lorena Gonzalez and contained several controversial changes to California’s current net metering rules for solar homeowners, most notably: Substantially reducing the credit paid for selling excess solar electricity back to the utility.
Photo of trees surrounding a house.
Is there anything you can do when a neighbor’s trees shade your solar panels?
One of the important things that determine if your home solar panels will be successful is whether they are clear of shade throughout the day. Even in locations that aren’t traditionally thought of as being good for solar, if your property has a clear view of the sun throughout the day, solar panels can generate enough power to provide 100% of your electricity needs. But if shade blocks your solar panels for even part of the day, that can have a drastic impact on your energy production.