New Rules, New Game: The Future of CA Solar Contractors Posted on May 01, 2024

On April 18th, 2024, the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) issued a controversial rule that could significantly disrupt the operations of California solar contractors working in the clean energy sector.

This regulation, pending codification, would restrict CA solar contractors to installing, repairing, or maintaining energy storage systems only alongside solar panels, with Battery Energy Storage Systems classified under C46 limited to a capacity of no more than 80 kWh. C46 contractors would be prohibited from working on any battery energy device unless installed simultaneously with solar panels.

What Does This Mean?

The CSLB’s change would significantly depart from decades of practice where solar energy installations typically included energy storage. As history shows, what happens in California, has ripple effects across the Nation!

The rule would impose stricter scrutiny on California contractors with C46 and C10 licenses and is expected to have widespread impacts across California’s clean energy landscape.

Significant opposition, to the new rules were voiced during a recent CSLB hearing, with solar workers, business leaders, and users critiquing the lack of evidence for safety concerns and dismissing viable alternatives and potential environmental impacts.

Despite research by the CSLB showing no safety issues with U.S. energy storage batteries, the rule was approved, conflicting with California's goals of expanding energy storage capacity.

Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar & Storage Association (CALSSA), highlighted the contradiction in the state’s policies, criticizing recent regulatory decisions that undermine the state's commitment to clean energy.