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4 5 1 4 1 2 1 . Rooftop solar panels at a home in Indiana. The state is among several that have rolled back solar incentives. Over the past six years, rooftop solar panel installations have seen explosive growth — as much as 900 percent by one estimate. That growth has come to a shuddering stop this year, with a projected decline in new installations of 2 percent, according to projections from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. A number of factors are driving the reversal, from saturation in markets like California to financial woes at several top solar panel makers.

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But the decline has also coincided with a concerted and well-funded lobbying campaign by traditional utilities, which have been working in state capitals across the country to reverse incentives for homeowners to install solar panels. Utilities argue that rules allowing private solar customers to sell excess power back to the grid at the retail price — a practice known as net metering — can be unfair to homeowners who do not want or cannot afford their own solar installations. Their effort has met with considerable success, dimming the prospects for renewable energy across the United States. Prodded in part by the utilities’ campaign, nearly every state in the country is engaged in a review of its solar energy policies. Since 2013, Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona, Maine and Indiana have decided to phase out net metering, crippling programs that spurred explosive growth in the rooftop solar market. Mullett, a volunteer who has helped two dozen households sign up for solar panels since 2014. Many more states are considering new or higher fees on solar customers.

Jeffrey Ostermayer of the Edison Electric Institute, the most prominent utility lobbying group, said in a statement. The same group of investor-owned utilities is now poised to sway solar policy at the federal level. The Energy Department did not make Mr. Charged with spearheading the study, due this summer, is Mr. David Pomerantz, executive director of the Energy and Policy Institute, a renewable energy advocacy group. A school superintendent said that his underfunded district needed solar power to reduce energy costs. A local farmer pleaded that his pine tree nursery depended on power from his solar panels.

The coalition was fighting a losing battle. A week before the Indiana committee hearing, a group of utility lobbyists descended on the statehouse, handing out talking points that said credits for rooftop solar panels lead to higher rates for everyone else. But fewer are sure that it will harm them personally. 3 million to mostly Republican candidates over the past four election cycles, according to campaign finance filings. They are also known to play an outsize role in drafting energy-related bills. Hershman said utility contributions had not swayed him against net metering. He said his bill, which was passed and signed into law this spring, protects current solar customers by locking in their rates for many years.

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