Over the last decade, government incentives and rebates have helped create a solar boom in San Diego. But the game’s about to change for three big reasons.

First, a federal income tax credit that covers about 30 percent of the cost of going solar is expiring at the end of next year. It’s not clear it’ll be renewed.

READ MORE: Unsure if You Should Go Solar? Read This.

Another reason: For now, solar customers through SDG&E get lower energy bills thanks to a state-mandated program called net energy metering. But that deal’s not going to be around much longer. A 2013 law required the state to come up with a new program, and it’s not quite clear what it’ll look like.

That brings us to the last major shift in the works. Utilities and regulators are proposing a change in the energy rate structure, going from four tiers to two or three. This would make it harder for high energy users to recoup their investment and save big on bills. State regulators are supposed to vote on those structure changes at the end of this month.

NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia and Lisa Halverstadt have more on how the solar times are a-changin’ in this San Diego Explained.

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This is part of our quest on whether solar will pay off for San Diego. Check out our previous post, Unsure If You Should Go Solar? Read This, here.

    This article relates to: Quest: Solar, San Diego Explained, Science/Environment

    Written by Catherine Green

    Catherine Green is deputy editor at Voice of San Diego. She handles daily operations while helping to plan new long-term projects. You can contact her directly at catherine.green@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5668. Follow her on Twitter: @c_s_green.