Renter-Friendly Solar Program

Home renters and apartment dwellers will soon be able to go solar, under programs authorized Thursday by California utility regulators.

Though any residential customer can sign up, the effort is geared toward utility customers who don’t own the roof overhead or may not want to tack on solar panels to their property. In some instances, homes are overshadowed by trees and other buildings, or rooflines may simply face the wrong way.

Utility customers who sign up would help ensure the construction of additional solar power plants to meet their energy needs.

“The program gives customers the option to meet up to 100 percent of their electricity needs with renewable energy,” explained state Utilities Commissioner Mike Florio. “Customers have the options to purchase from a pool of renewable resources or from a specific renewable project. Giving customers this option is a good thing and I hope the program will be well-subscribed.”

Homeowners in San Diego are flocking to rooftop solar, and dramatically reducing their utility bills in the process. Those solar customers are credited at the full retail rate for electricity they deliver to the grid, though reforms are pending that would rein in the incentives.

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