Save CA Rooftop Solar
While climate change driven wildfires and drought are devastating the West and floods and hurricanes are trashing the east, the utilities are threatening to make it harder for us to put solar on our roofs to help stop climate change.
What the utilities want
The big California utilities are lobbying the CA Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to change the rules for net energy metering (NEM) - in which a solar household sells their excess electricity back to the utility to be used by their neighbors. They want to
add a $65-90 monthly solar penalty fee to the energy bills of anyone who puts solar electric panels on their roof connected to the electric grid and
drastically slash the credit for selling excess energy produced back to the grid to just 20% of the current rate.
What it will do
make it uneconomic for most households to put solar electric panels on the roof,
make electricity more expensive.
bring the California solar industry to a halt, which would throw thousands out of work and
make it much harder for the state to stop burning fossil fuels to generate electricity, worsening the climate crisis.
Push Newson to pressure the CPUC to protect affordable rooftop solar.
Tell Newsom to support rooftop solar, keep the CPUC from approving the utility residential solar rate change (CPUC Docket #: R.20-08-020), and stop the utility power grab.
Sign the Save California Solar coalition petition (you will be signed up for future alerts from the coalition) or
Write your own message to Newsom to submit at the Governor’s contact website
The story behind the arguments
Subsidy to the rich or protecting the grid from economic collapse?
Proponents argue that the current rate structure just subsidizes wealthy people to get solar and leaves poor people to pay for the grid. More likely is that this proposal will leave poor people holding the bag.
Current trends show that the bulk of new solar is now going onto working class and middle income households. This proposal will end that.
If net energy metering is made uneconomic, wealthy people will still buy solar with battery backup systems but instead of sharing their electricity, they will disconnect from the utility entirely. This will leave poorer people who can't afford the batteries to pay for the grid without the benefit of the solar electricity or the wealthy ratepayers.
We need more rooftop solar, not less. As fast as possible.
With drought and wildfires ravaging California, it is obvious that we need to stop burning fossil fuels as fast as possible. A huge part of the solution is changing how we create our electricity.
Big utility scale solar and wind systems are part of the answer, but can't do it alone in time. Like all big central power plants, they require lots of environmentally delicate land and require the construction of huge, expensive transmission lines which take a long time to site and build, cost a bundle, and are vulnerable to wildfire.
Rooftop solar can be expanded rapidly. We have a healthy solar installation industry that is rapidly expanding our rooftop solar capacity. Let's not kill it.
Rooftop solar helps make the electric grid more stable and resilient. Rooftop solar does not rely on big transmission lines that can be knocked out by wildfires. Paired with electricity storage, more rooftop solar can make each area less vulnerable to statewide disruptions.
Learn more about the issues from the Save California Solar FAQs.
This effort is supported by a wide ranging Coalition of city governments, non profit organizations and community leaders