SACRAMENTO – As the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) prepares a preliminary decision on the future of rooftop solar, Environment California Research & Policy Center and over a hundred solar supporters, including consumers, affordable housing advocates, faith leaders, environmentalists, conservationists and climate activists delivered a petition signed by more than 120,000 Californians to officials at the California State Capitol urging the CPUC and Gov. Gavin Newsom to protect the state’s net metering program. The delivery occurred during a rally on the capitol steps. Net metering is a policy that fairly compensates rooftop solar owners for the excess electricity that they put back into the grid.
“Rooftop solar needs to continue to grow quickly for California to reach its clean energy goals,” said Laura Deehan, state director at Environment California Research & Policy Center. “Gov. Newsom has the golden opportunity to help California reach its climate goals, keep the lights on and protect our state’s precious open spaces. Over 120,000 Californians agree: Gov. Newsom needs to stand up to the state’s investor-owned utilities and keep rooftop solar within reach for California families and businesses.”
California is committed to reaching 100 percent clean electricity by 2045 and state officials estimate that to achieve this, the state will need to nearly quadruple the current rooftop solar capacity.
Rooftop solar reduces the need for costly investments in the grid. In 2018, state grid operators determined California could forego $2.6 billion in future spending on transmission and other grid projects largely due to increases in rooftop solar and energy efficiency.
Despite the numerous benefits of rooftop solar, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SoCal Edison) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) are using the common utility playbook described in Blocking Rooftop Solar to urge the CPUC to create the nation’s highest fixed solar charges and drastically cut net metering in California.
“Rooftop solar is among the best and fastest ways to generate clean renewable power,” Deehan said. “We don’t have time to mess around. California should be doing everything it can to accelerate rooftop solar, not slow it down. Gov. Newsom needs to save rooftop solar.”