On track to hit a million solar roofs

Every hour, the sun radiates more energy onto the earth than the entire human population uses in a whole year. By capturing just a tiny fraction of this energy, we can decrease our dependence on fossil fuels like natural gas and coal, leading to cleaner air, reduced global warming pollution, and thousands of new jobs.

That’s why Environment California created the Million Solar Roofs campaign in 2006. Thanks to the hard work of thousands of supporters who donated, made phone calls, signed petitions, and came out to events, we passed landmark legislation to support California’s growing solar industry. Our goal? Reach a million solar roofs statewide by the year 2020.

Today, California is on pace to hit the Million Solar Roofs target ahead of schedule, and our state is unquestionably the nation’s solar leader. The price of solar has dropped more than 45% since the program began in 2006, and California’s solar industry now employs more than 43,000 people.

But the battle isn’t over

Powerful utility companies are threatened by the idea of homeowners and small businesses generating their own energy. The utilities are joining hands with the fossil fuel industry and opposing us every step of the way. Environment California has fought hard in Sacramento to protect the laws that have enabled the solar industry’s stratospheric growth. For instance, we’re working to defend net metering, which allows homeowners and small businesses to receive credit on their electricity bills for energy that they produce on-site.

We’re also going on the offensive, working to build support for a bold vision of California’s solar future. Gov. Jerry Brown recently made a public call for California to install 12 gigawatts of local clean energy by 2020. That’s significant: 12 GW is the equivalent of 12 nuclear power plants. By rallying around the governor’s vision, we can reach our goal of a million solar roofs— and blow past it—by the end of this decade. Join our campaign by endorsing Gov. Brown’s clean energy vision today.

Finally, Environment California is highlighting local leaders all over the state who are moving the ball forward on solar power. Lancaster and Sebastopol have passed groundbreaking mandates requiring all new buildings to be constructed with solar panels. Richmond leaders dramatically cut prices on permits for residential solar installations. We are shining a spotlight on these visionary solar leaders and encouraging other city governments to follow in their footsteps.

By continuing to expand California’s reliance on solar power, we can transform our economy, generate jobs, protect our health, and preserve our environment for generations to come.

Clean energy updates

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State Expands Solar Metering Program

"Today is a day that will shine bright in California history, bringing more jobs, cleaner air and a more secure energy future for all Californians," Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate with Environment California Research & Policy Center, wrote in a news release.

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News Release | Environment California

60,000 Californians Urge Regulators to Say YES to More Rooftop Solar

Solar, environmental, public interest and science groups banded together to help Californians send nearly 60,000 messages asking the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to expand a popular clean energy program called net metering.

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News Release | Environment California Research & Policy Center

Over 100 California Leaders Call for More Solar

A growing number of state leaders are calling for the bright spot in California’s economy—solar power—to keep shining.  A bipartisan group of more than 100 elected officials from up and down the state have now endorsed Governor Brown’s goal of installing 12,000 megawatts (MW) of clean, localized power by then end of the decade as part of his “Clean Energy Jobs Plan.”

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Headline

State Regulators Raise Existing Cap on Solar 'Net Metering'

"This is a huge victory for California's environment, jobs and secure energy future," said Michelle Kinman of Environment California.

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Headline

Cloudy skies for L.A.'s solar efforts

Rooftop solar panels make a lot of sense for L.A., not only because the city is so frequently sun-splashed but because local power development is the easiest and cheapest way to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, since one doesn't need to build power lines to carry electricity here from desert solar plants or mountain wind farms. Compared to other cities, though, L.A. is lagging.

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