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Statement: CPUC postpones decision on California’s rooftop solar program ‘until further notice’

Reprieve for the environment follows significant public outcry
For Immediate Release

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A contentious decision that could determine the prospects for solar power in California won’t happen “until further notice.” The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced Thursday that commissioners will revise the controversial rooftop solar proposal originally announced on Dec. 13, 2021.

That proposal, lauded by utility companies, would have established a new solar penalty fee or solar tax, cut the net metering credit (the rate customers get when they share their surplus energy with the grid) by about 80%, and broken the agreements with existing solar customers. These cuts, coupled with the complexity of the proposal, were projected to cause solar adoption in California to drop precipitously. When other locations, such as Nevada, have adopted such proposals, home solar installation has collapsed

The CPUC initially planned on making a decision on Jan. 27. The ongoing delays come after substantial opposition at rallies that drew thousands of people in San Francisco and Los Angeles, in the media and at open forums, including nearly 8 hours of public comment during the Jan. 27th CPUC voting meeting.

Experts from Environment California released the following statements: 

“We are glad to hear that the commission is working to get this proposal right,” said Environment California’s State Director Laura Deehan. “I’ve walked alongside thousands of concerned citizens who want our state to catch more solar energy from our rooftops. Governor Newsom heard us, and made clear that changes had to be made to the proposal. Now, the commission needs to make sure that California continues its solar leadership.” 

“The eyes of the nation have been on California these past few weeks,” said Environment California’s Campaign for 100% Renewables Senior Director Johanna Neumann. ”We’re looking forward to the CPUC issuing an amended decision soon that supports the expansion of rooftop solar. That will require stripping out all solar penalty fees, avoiding sudden reductions in the customer credits for energy they provide to the community, and honoring the agreements made to existing solar customers. With those provisions in place, California can continue to reap the extensive environmental benefits of rooftop solar, lighting the way for other states to follow.”