California Public Utility Commission delivers damaging blow to rooftop solar

Rooftop solar has been dealt a damaging blow in the Golden State.

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John Stout
Content Creator

Author: John Stout

Content Creator

Started on staff: 2020
B.A., Pomona College

John creates content for the Environment America state groups. He was previously the transportation advocate for U.S. PIRG and MASSPIRG. John has co-authored multiple reports and numerous op-eds on transportation issues ranging from increased public transit to electrified vehicles to how e-bikes can help us tackle climate change. John lives in Boston with his wife, who works as a nurse at Boston Children's Hospital. They enjoy biking, surfing and eating.

Rooftop solar has been dealt a damaging blow in the Golden State.

On Dec. 13, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) proposed to drastically cut the state’s solar energy incentive program — despite the more than 120,000 public comments submitted by Californians in support of solar. Called "net metering," this program reimburses Californians for extra electricity their solar panels provide back to the grid. Under the new proposal, customers would be charged a higher monthly fixed rate, drastically cutting customer credits for the extra solar energy they generate.

"In 2018 California chose a path to 100% clean and renewable energy, and that path requires a sustained commitment to growing rooftop solar," said Laura Deehan, state director at Environment California Research & Policy Center. "Instead, the CPUC’s proposal is the equivalent of tying cement blocks to our ankles as we race to transition away from fossil fuels."

Now, we're calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to stand up to the state’s investor-owned utilities and ensure that California continues its shining leadership as a rooftop solar state before the proposal's final vote on Jan. 27.

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Photo: Laura Deehan, state director at Environment California Research & Policy Center, joined over a hundred solar supporters — including consumers, faith leaders and climate activists — at a rally and petition delivery to protect rooftop solar at the California State Capitol in December. Credit: CALSSA

John Stout
Content Creator

Author: John Stout

Content Creator

Started on staff: 2020
B.A., Pomona College

John creates content for the Environment America state groups. He was previously the transportation advocate for U.S. PIRG and MASSPIRG. John has co-authored multiple reports and numerous op-eds on transportation issues ranging from increased public transit to electrified vehicles to how e-bikes can help us tackle climate change. John lives in Boston with his wife, who works as a nurse at Boston Children's Hospital. They enjoy biking, surfing and eating.