Ken Wells runs O&M Solar Services, a small residential solar company in South Los Angeles, where he works with disadvantaged communities. But a new state rate structure for rooftop solar has decimated his business. He had to lay off all 20 employees. Photo by Lauren Justice for CalMatters
Ken Wells runs O&M Solar Services, a small residential solar company in South Los Angeles, where he works with disadvantaged communities. But a new state rate structure for rooftop solar has decimated his business. He had to lay off all 20 employees. Photo by Lauren Justice for CalMatters

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Deepak Rajagopal for San Francisco Chronicles — What’s happened since California cut home solar payments? Demand has plunged 80%

UCLA energy economist Deepak Rajagopal discusses the impact of California’s slashed solar payments for homeowners with CalMatters, emphasizing the expected decline in demand and the immediate effects on the solar industry. Rajagopal notes that the generous reimbursement system had driven a surge in demand before the new rates came into effect. “It is a given, demand is going to slow down. The overall effect will be a slowdown in the rate that people will demand rooftop solar. Over time it may come back up, but it’s hard to tell” Rajagopal said.

With concerns about meeting climate goals and ensuring clean energy affordability, Rajagopal suggests a need for recalibration in the state’s approach to rooftop solar. As the industry faces layoffs and potential setbacks, questions linger about the long-term consequences and impacts on clean energy accessibility for disadvantaged communities.