CALSSA and allies have announced a goal of collecting 100,000 public comments in 30 days to deliver to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Governor Newsom before the upcoming Net Metering (NEM-3) decision in December. The CPUC will be reconsidering the credit rooftop solar consumers receive for the excess energy they produce, and CALSSA is warning that the outcome could potentially gut California’s rooftop solar and storage market.
In July, CALSSA delivered the first 30,000 comments at an event in front of the CPUC headquarters in San Francisco. Reaching the 100,000 goal would break the record for the greatest number of public comments received by a state agency in history — previously set by solar advocates in 2015.
As California enters the homestretch in the NEM-3 proceeding, CALSSA implores everyone in the solar and storage industry and anyone who supports distributed clean energy to make their voice heard before the decision deadline. Currently 1.2 million consumers use net metering, including thousands of public schools and low-income apartment buildings. The policy is responsible for dramatically growing rooftop solar in California by making it more affordable for working- and middle-class households, which now represent nearly half the state’s solar market — by far the largest in the country.
Proposals submitted by California’s investor-owned utilities would gut the market for solar as well as solar-charged batteries by reducing the credit solar consumers receive for the excess energy they produce by up to 80% and adding a $65 to $90 monthly solar penalty fee to their energy bills.
A bad NEM-3 decision would not only slow California’s clean energy progress at this critical moment in history and hurt working- and middle-class families and solar users, but also thousands of solar and storage workers in the state. Additionally, solar and storage has been instrumental in keeping the lights on for thousands of families and businesses during the state’s crippling blackouts. A bad NEM-3 decision could put this important technology out of reach for every day Californians.
“The California distributed solar and storage industry employs over 65,000 people. These workers have a clear stake in the outcome of the NEM-3 decision, and they must be given a voice,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of CALSSA. “Every person who is up on a roof, in a garage or out in a field installing solar and energy storage needs to make their voice heard right now. The governor and the CPUC are going to impact your job with this decision.”