About Rooftop Solar and Net Metering

• The current California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) proposal would slash the rate paid to the owners of rooftop solar installations who deliver energy into the grid by 75 percent. The current rate still leaves them a very nice profit margin; they pay the producer $0.30 per kilowatt hour (kWh) and charge the producer’s neighbor up to $0.47/kWh. Their current proposal is to drop the rate they pay to $0.05/kWh!

• The proposed CPUC guidelines would put rooftop solar out of the reach of many homeowners and increase the pay-back period for the investment in the system to over 10 years.

• 50 percent of rooftop solar installations in the state are in households earning less than $100,000 year (75% to households earning less than $150,000/year), i.e., it’s not a rich man’s game (Lawrence Berkeley Nat’l Lab).

• Other states that have cut net metering rates have seen solar adoptions drop by half or more.

• The rooftop solar (and battery) capacity saved the grid from collapse (and residents from black-outs) during the state-wide heat event last August. The utilities should be subsidizing rooftop solar!

• There’s no way we can reach the state’s goals for a zero-emission power grid by 2045 without much-increased rooftop solar capacity (CA Energy Commission report).

• The utilities are paying ever-increasing dividends to their stockholders in recent years, while neglecting their infrastructure, and hide behind bankruptcy laws when held to account.

• The utilities earn guaranteed profits on their long-distance power lines, so decentralized rooftop solar is not in their interest.

• Gov. Newsom and his wife has taken over $700,000 in campaign contributions from Pacific Gas & Electric Co., its foundation and employees (Wash Post). From 2017-21 the utilities spent $44 million (of our money) on campaign contributions and lobbying.

• Gov. Newsom appoints the members of the CPUC, and could make rooftop solar a priority just as he is championing electric cars.


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