California Public Utilities Commission Expands Solar Net Metering

Consumer, Faith, Environmental & Business Leaders Applaud
Commitment to Continued Solar Progress

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–This statement was issued by Vote Solar:


A diverse coalition of consumer, environmental, faith, agricultural,
environmental justice, and business organizations joined together to
applaud the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) decision to
preserve net metering, a critical solar policy that gives the state’s
energy consumers the opportunity to generate their own energy with solar
power. In a 3-2 vote, the Commission approved a balanced net metering
program that will ensure rooftop solar continues delivering consumer
savings, building healthier communities, creating local jobs, and making
California a climate leader.

“With today’s vote, the CPUC stood strong for progress, for innovation,
and for the Californians they serve,” said Susannah Churchill,
west coast regional director for Vote Solar
. “This decision
to uphold net metering was the result of a thorough Commission-led
stakeholder process from the state that knows solar best, our nation’s
largest rooftop solar market by a long shot, and we hope other states
will take note.”

“The utilities are upset because they weren’t successful at killing
solar like some of their counterparts in other states have done, but the
Commission determined that net metering should change only
gradually,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of
the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA)
. “This
decision takes significant steps to change net metering over time, but
we are confident it will maintain the opportunity to go solar for most
types of customers.”

“Today will shine bright in California history, bringing cleaner air,
more local jobs and a more secure energy future for all Californians,”
said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate for Environment
California Research & Policy Center
. “We applaud the CPUC for
listening to the outpouring of support from Californians all over the
state to protect net metering and uphold Governor Brown’s vision for
climate and clean power leadership.”

“Solar is an essential asset for disadvantaged communities facing fossil
fuel pollution throughout California,” said Eddie Ahn,
executive director of Brightline Defense
. “Today, the CPUC has
recognized that solar not only creates sustainable environments but also
empowers our communities with jobs.”

“All faith traditions teach that we have a responsibility to take care
of our common home and the gravity of the climate crisis requires that
humanity transition as soon as possible to clean renewable energy,” said The
Rev. Will Scott, program director for California Interfaith Power & Light
.
“We have been blessed with the abundant resource of the sun and rooftop
solar is an essential part of California’s global climate leadership.
CIPL and our network of 650 congregations throughout the state urge the
CPUC to do all it can to encourage the expansion of rooftop solar in
California.”

“This decision gives farmers a practical way to lower their carbon
footprint by maximizing the on-farm renewable energy they produce. By
continuing net energy metering aggregation (NEMA), the CPUC recognized
agriculture’s important role in providing solutions to climate change,”
said Adam Kotin, associate policy director of California Climate and
Agriculture Network (CalCAN)
.

Led by Commission President Michel Picker, the CPUC decision was the
culmination of a multi-year process that had Californians of all walks
of life calling for continued solar progress. Supporters delivered more
than 150,000 petitions in favor of net metering, a historic level of
public engagement at the CPUC. Diverse groups representing consumers,
educators, local governments, environmental interests, low-income
communities, tribes, farmers, faith organizations, businesses, job
training organizations, and the growing solar industry formally urged
the Commission to uphold net metering and expand solar access to more
Californians.

The price of going solar has dropped by half over the past five years,
giving families, schools, businesses and others an affordable option for
lowering their electricity bills and investing in a brighter California.
This consumer investment in local solar power reduces the need for
expensive and polluting utility infrastructure, which delivers
community-wide cost savings and health benefits throughout the state. It
also drives investment in our local economy and employs over 54,000
people statewide, which is more than the state’s five largest utilities
combined. Today’s CPUC vote will ensure that California consumers who go
solar in the future continue to receive full retail net metering credit
and sets up a later phase of the proceeding to further expand solar
access for customers in disadvantaged communities. It also adopts modest
changes to solar customer rates while rejecting the utilities’ proposals
for discriminatory demand charges, fixed charges and standby charges.

Contacts

Media Contacts:
Vote Solar
Rosalind Jackson,
510-708-6880
Rosalind@votesolar.org