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<< Wednesday, March 15, 2017 >>


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ERG Colloquium: Carla Peterman: Pass-Through of Solar PV Incentives to Consumers: The Early Years of California’s Solar PV Incentives

Colloquium | March 15 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 126 Barrows Hall


Carla Peterman, Commissioner, California Energy Commission

Energy and Resources Group


This study examines the early years of California’s most recent wave of distributed solar PV incentives (2000-2008) to determine the pass-through of incentives to consumers. Examination of this period is important due to the high level of incentives provided and subsequent high cost to ratepayers; policymakers’ expectations that price declines accrue to consumers; and market structure characteristics that might contribute to incomplete pass-through. This analysis shows that incentive pass-through in the California residential solar PV programs was incomplete. The analysis also identifies a lower degree of incentive pass-through for consumers in the highest income zip codes. Whether expectations of incentives’ pass-through align with reality is critically important in the beginning years of emerging clean energy technology programs since this can affect the likelihood of future government investments and public support. Given the often-held policy assumption that consumer prices are declining in response to incentives, it is useful for policymakers to understand the circumstances under which such an assumption may not hold.


Carla J. Peterman was appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in December 2012. She is the CPUC’s assigned Commissioner for a number of proceedings including energy efficiency, alternative transportation, and energy storage.
Dr. Peterman was previously appointed, in 2011, to the California Energy Commission where she was lead Commissioner for renewables, transportation, and natural gas.
She has conducted research at the Energy Institute at Haas and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and was an investment banker focused on energy financing at Lehman Brothers.
Dr. Peterman holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Energy and Resources from The University of California Berkeley. She also earned a Master of Science degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Commissioner Peterman holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Howard University.


ergdeskb@berkeley.edu, 510-642-1640