image courtesy of Home Team Energy
Despite the urgency, the transition to a fully decarbonized economy won’t be a smooth path, and residential solar installers will continue facing obstacles amidst the bright spots. And while California and Florida have been creating big headlines with proposals to up-end policies that incentivize rooftop solar adoption, it’s not all doom and gloom for the national residential solar market.
Several states in vastly different regions have passed legislation, implemented policies, or proposed new rules to boost residential solar adoption. Let’s take a look at what’s happening in various corners of the country.
In great news for one of the fastest-growing residential solar markets in the country, an appeals court in Arizona recently ruled that a Phoenix-based utility was overcharging homeowners who had rooftop solar panels.
The three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that there was “sufficient evidence that could show the price structure was designed to deter the competitive threat of solar energy systems and to force consumers to exclusively purchase electricity” and which constituted a violation of antitrust laws.
Although this won’t immediately impact all utilities, it should set a precedent for homeowners to receive fair market rates when selling excess solar power back to the grid. Better rates will ideally drive greater solar adoption.
The Ohio State Senate recently passed a bill that would prohibit homeowners associations (HOAs) from restricting rooftop solar installations. The bill will now go to the Ohio House of Representatives for committee approval and passage. While it hasn’t passed yet, the legislation enjoys widespread bipartisan support and is expected to pass.
Solar energy is one of the fastest-growing sectors in Ohio. With more than 200 solar companies employing more than 7,000 people in the state, it ranks in the top ten in the U.S. for solar jobs, and industry watchers expect continued growth.
This proposed legislation also follows a more significant national trend. For instance, Texas and Illinois passed similar legislation in 2021. With HOA bylaws currently governing an estimated 60% of all recently built single-family homes and 80% of houses in new subdivisions, legislation like this ensures homeowners’ ability to go solar.
The Connecticut Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) has been overseeing an Energy Storage Solutions program, designed to deploy 580 MW of behind-the-meter battery storage throughout the state by 2030.
The program provides thousands of dollars in incentives to state residents who want to install electric storage devices in their homes or businesses. The upfront incentive for the average customer would come in at around $200 per kilowatt-hour (KWh), for savings of around $2,500. Customers who live in distressed communities or who earn less than 60% of their locality’s median income will receive around $4,000 and $5,400, respectively.
This incentive should motivate homeowners to install a rooftop solar system that couples with an energy storage system. The solar + storage solution gives homeowners more energy independence and added resiliency in the face of power outages caused by extreme weather.
While Mississippi isn’t a residential solar hot spot, state officials are trying to change that.
In an effort to boost solar adoption, the Mississippi Public Service Commission proposed an expansion of its net-metering program to increase rebates rates for solar customers. The state currently ranks at 45th out of the 46 states in residential net-meter adopters.
Much like the Connecticut program, Mississippi’s new rules also prioritize low-to-moderate income customers. The new rules would include an upfront rebate of $3,000 for solar projects between 3 and 6 kW for customers at or below 250% of the poverty line.
Choosing the Right PV Modules
Despite obstacles in some states, other states are making big strides in advancing residential solar adoption, and Trina Solar can help. No matter the location, residential solar installers need to provide their customers with the best value and reliability for their rooftop solar system.
Trina Solar’s residential solar panels deliver the high energy gains and lasting performance that ensure your customers’ rooftop PV systems continue operating at optimized efficiency for the system’s lifetime. Coupled with the TrinaProtect 25-year product and 25-year performance warranty program, Trina Solar’s modules let installers give their customers more peace of mind over their energy source.
Reach out to Trina Solar today to learn more about our sleek, reliable, and affordable residential solar panels.
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