SB9 and the Future of CT Solar Energy


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Many business owners and concerned citizens turned out for the Acadia Center’s Forum on the Future of Solar Energy on January 22, 2019 at Connecticut’s state capitol.


Read on to learn more about the recent changes in legislation, and why the time is now to go solar in Connecticut.


Upon first glance, SB 9 looks to be a great push toward majority renewable energy in Connecticut.


However, when you read to section 7(b)...


On or before September 1, 2018, the authority shall initiate a proceeding to establish tariffs that provide for twenty-year terms of service described in subdivision (3) of this subsection for each electric distribution company pursuant to subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subdivision (2) of this subsection. In such proceeding, the authority shall establish the period of time that will be used for calculating the net amount of energy produced by a facility and not consumed, provided the authority shall assess whether to incorporate time-of-use rates or other dynamic pricing and such period of time shall be either (i) in real time, (ii) in one day, or (iii) in any fraction of a day not to Substitute Senate Bill No. 9 Public Act No. 18-50 18 of 54 exceed one day. The rate for such tariffs shall be established by the solicitation pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection.

What do this bill, and section 7(b) in particular, mean for the solar energy industry in CT?


End of Net Metering & Residential Solar Investment Program (RSIP)

The end of net metering is tied to the end of the RSIP. At the current run rates, the RSIP will run out mid- to late-2019, and the end date is an ever-moving target. The loss of the RSIP, net metering, and the federal Investment Tax Credit stepdown beginning in 2020 are major challenges for the solar industry to overcome in such a short window.


Current solar customers are grandfathered into net metering until December 2039, but the future of solar in CT is uncertain. ACT NOW if you are considering going solar!


New Tariff Structures May Make TPO Financing Models Impossible

TPO (third-party ownership) arrangements account for the vast majority of residential solar systems in Connecticut.


TPO models are the primary way for low-to-moderate income families to have access to solar—these models do not require large cash payments or loans and provide immediate utility bill savings. The loss of these arrangements would, without a doubt, drastically reduce residential solar deployments and jobs in the state.


To Put it In Perspective...

Connecticut’s solar industry is made up of 200 companies, 2,200 jobs, and $1.5 billion in investment. If this bill stands as-is, our state could see the loss of a major industry. With many corporations already leaving the state, isn’t this something we should strive to avoid? Not to mention, doesn’t this go against our goal of reaching at least 40% clean energy by 2030?


“If you want people to do something, make it easy. It’s hard to build an industry when the rules are being rewritten every two years. Connecticut is talking in circles while other states are experiencing an economic boom.”

- Noel Lafayette, SHR Energy Management


The Proposed Action Plan for 2019

Pause implementation of Section 7(b) of SB 9. Without an SB 9 fix, Connecticut will

enact regressive policies in the third quarter of 2019 that will harm solar growth and

jobs. Representatives of the solar industry are calling for a study of residential solar

policy and best practices from other states before implementation.


Maintain Connecticut’s current net metering program. All of the clean energy

leaders in the country (New York, Massachusetts, and California, among 35 other

states) have net metering—it is crucial to solar growth. In an effort to make solar

even more accessible, we move to eliminate the barriers to commercial solar and

lift the cap on virtual net metering for municipalities, farms, and state properties.

We also propose lifting caps on shared solar and project size, as well as ensuring

immediate shared solar deployment.


Study the benefits and costs of net metering, including any cost shift, and evaluate

net metering successor programs in other states. We have the time to do a proper

study before implementing policies that are detrimental to the solar industry in our

state.


Act on the results of the study and implement a new solar program on January 1,

2022 to allow for an orderly transition from the net metering program.


THE TIME TO GO SOLAR IS NOW!

Take advantage of the solar incentives and financial benefits while they last! From planning to power-on, Sunlight Solar ensures that you receive the absolute best service and education surrounding your system.


  1. Call (203) 878-9123 to schedule a FREE Home Solar Assessment.

  2. An estimator will visit your home, review your electrical usage, and design a premium solar system based on your home and your needs.

  3. Sunlight Solar takes care of all paperwork, permitting and inspections.

  4. Your system is installed, turned on, & delivers clean energy to your home!

© 2020 Amber Cunningham.