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Wet, Stormy January Causes 40% Slump in California Solar Installations

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Solar installations in California were off 40% in January, driven by record rainfall, market saturation, and changes in utility net metering policies, but volume is expected to recover in the months ahead.

January is already a slow month for solar, and the rain constrained sales and installation activities,” Solar Leaderboard reports. As well, “certain areas in California have high solar penetration, and early adoption may have hit a saturation point. Our research indicates that residential solar penetration in CA reached 7.2% in mid-2016, with some areas reaching as high as 20%.”

The market may also be adapting to changes in net metering payment policies introduced by San Diego Gas & Electric in mid-2016 and Pacific Gas & Electric in December.

The long-term outlook for rooftop solar is positive, particularly as prices have come down,” the Leaderboard notes. “February and March activity will help validate that the January slowdown was primarily weather-related.