A big decision on rooftop solar in California is off the table, for now. Bait/Switch Stopped

Like a Wall Street con artist, the California Public Utilities Commission has acted like a bait and switch scam.  First, they got folks to spend thousands of dollars to buy solar panels, with the promise of low electric rates.  Now that got lots of people on the hook, they want to raise the cost of energy—taking away the value of the solar panels—this is called bait and switch when done by private people,  When done by government it is called policy,

“California regulators are holding off on considering a proposal that would upend the state’s solar marketplace. KPBS Environment Reporter Erik Anderson says the delay likely means changes to the controversial plan are in the works.

California utility regulators have quietly tabled a controversial plan made public last month that would drastically reduce the benefits provided to homeowners with rooftop solar panels.”

A big decision on rooftop solar in California is off the table, for now

By Erik AndersonMike Damron, KPBS,   1/20/22 

California regulators are holding off on considering a proposal that would upend the state’s solar marketplace. KPBS Environment Reporter Erik Anderson says the delay likely means changes to the controversial plan are in the works.

California utility regulators have quietly tabled a controversial plan made public last month that would drastically reduce the benefits provided to homeowners with rooftop solar panels.

A California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) administrative law judge unveiled the proposal, which changes California’s Net Energy Metering rules.

That’s the regulation governing how much owners of rooftop solar arrays are paid by utilities for the energy they produce and how much they have to pay utilities for hooking up to the grid.

The proposal unveiled Dec. 13 sided heavily with the investor-owned utilities and landed with a thud among solar advocates.

 “It’s so bad,” said Bernadette Del Chiarro, the executive director of the California Solar and Storage Association. “We think that the proposed decision, the bones of it, are so rotten, it will not hold.”

A big decision on rooftop solar in California is off the table, for now

Jobs at risk

The plan slashes, by about 80%, how much residents get paid for electricity generated by rooftop solar panels and proposes steep grid access charges, about $60 a month for a typical solar customer.

It essentially negates most of the financial incentives for homeowners to pay thousands of dollars to add solar panels to their roofs.

The utilities argue it fixes a cost shift where solar owners do not pay their fair share of grid maintenance costs, which are shifted to non-solar customers.

But the solar industry argues that the changes will likely cause demand for rooftop solar to dry up and throw thousands of solar installers out of work.

“Save solar … Save solar … Save solar …” Is what hundreds of solar workers chanted at a Los Angeles rally earlier this month.

The message was aimed at the CPUC’s satellite office in Los Angeles.

“We would hate to see all the hard work and progress that we’ve made be killed by this bill. This solar tax,” said Jay Cutting, owner of ReVamp Energy, a solar installation company. “We came to show our support and say, save our jobs.”

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. I had solar installed (ground mount) several years ago. The amount I paid was 70% of the total. The government paid the other 30 percent. The agreement was that PG&E would pay me the same rate for the energy I sent them that they charged other residential customers. That was a 20 year commitment. So far that is being abided by. I will come out a bit ahead, but if I had put that money into the stock market for the same length of time I would be far ahead of where things stand now. Changes such as they are thinking of would sink the solar market. It would also sink the benefit the buyers on new homes in California would have to pay due to the mandate that all new homes have solar installed when being built alla Newsome.

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