California to lose 22% of solar jobs by end of year


The California Solar & Storage Association (CALSSA) shared a new breakdown of recent solar job losses in every part of California.

Just over seven months ago, the Gov. Gavin Newsom-appointed California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) made drast reductions to Net Energy Metering — the program responsible for reducing the costs of going solar by compensating system owners for their energy production — by slashing the value of solar energy shared back to the grid by solar homes and businesses by 70-80% overnight. At the same time, the CPUC and Gov. Newsom promised to provide incentives for energy storage to help soften the blow but these incentives have yet to materialize.

Since the CPUC’s decision, the solar industry is experiencing business closures and depression-level layoffs at a time of unprecedented federal support for solar installation.

A survey of California solar and storage companies found that 17,000 jobs have or will be lost by the end of 2023 due to the recent net metering changes. The massive job loss represents 22% of all solar jobs in California. CALSSA’s new breakdown of the survey numbers estimates no part of California is spared from the pain of solar job losses.

 Region  Estimated Jobs   Lost   Counties 
 Pacific North  664  Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Trinity
 Sierra North  1,291  Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter,   Tehama, Yolo, Yuba
 Bay Area  2,705  Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma
 Central Valley  3,167  Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Sacramento, San   Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne
 Central Coast  665  Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz
 Los Angeles  3,010  Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange
 Inland & Desert  2,848  Riverside, San Bernardino
 San Diego  2,651  San Diego, Imperial

“All over California we are seeing the grim reality of how the CPUC’s cuts to solar are taking livelihoods away from thousands of families,” said CALSSA Executive Director Bernadette Del Chiaro. “No one would expect a supposed climate leader like California to be pulling the plug on green jobs and our fastest and most accessible path to a clean energy future. But that is where we are today. Under the CPUC’s leadership California is responsible for the largest loss of solar jobs in our nation’s history.”

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