CPUC Resumes its Attack on Rooftop Solar

(05/2022) After a powerful public Save California Solar campaign forced Governor Newsom to tell his California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to shelve it’s December 2021 proposed decision to kill rooftop solar in California, the CPUC, on May 9, opened a new front in its attack on local solar.

Rather than heeding the overwhelming public opposition to the CPUC’s proposed gutting of the state’s Net Energy Metering (NEM) policy, the law judge presiding over the NEM proceeding floated a re-packaged version of the December proposed decision.

Same pig, new lipstick.

The changes now being considered by the CPUC are to achieve the same result, but under cover of a new wrapper. The current proposal consists of three main changes:

  •  Instead of a fixed monthly fee on customers’ solar panels, the proposal calls for a fee on the electricity produced by and used from those panels. It’s like paying a fee to the grocery store for the carrots you grow in your own back yard.
  • Instead of immediately slashing the value of solar energy exported by solar panels to the grid, the proposal calls for instituting these cuts over of a few years. Rather than sudden death, rooftop solar experiences a painful more prolonged death. Somehow that’s supposed to be easier on its loved ones, including the Earth.
  •  Instead of not addressing the needs of renters and other non-property owners, the proposal calls for a defective “community solar” program. Rather than a “community solar” program that would allow low-income people to subscribe to a nearby solar installation and receive the same benefits as those who can install solar on their own property, the proposal calls for a program that mainly benefits developers while subscribers get a small bill savings. Why shouldn’t community solar subscribers get the full benefit of their solar shares?

The CPUC is asking for comments on these proposed changes by June 10. Meanwhile, the Solar Rights Alliance is calling for the following actions:

1) Call Governor Newsom right now at 916-445-2841. His office is open Monday-Friday from 9 to 5. Say your name and where you live, and something personal. Here’s a suggestion:

“The CPUC’s latest rooftop solar announcement is a non-starter for me. California should not be taxing solar energy, period. We need more solar, not less. Please show leadership now.”

2) Speak to the CPUC at the meeting next Thursday 5/19 at 11am. If you can be in Sacramento, please strongly consider attending in person. Otherwise, dial in remotely. RSVP here

3) Mark your calendar for No Solar Tax, No Solar Cliff Protest on June 2nd in San Francisco and Los Angeles. More details to come very soon.  
For more information, check here.