California solar advocates deliver 120k public comments to commission ahead of NEM 3.0 decision

Hundreds of solar supporters, including consumers, affordable housing advocates, faith leaders, environmentalists, conservationists and climate activists gathered for a rally at the California State Capitol building to deliver more than 120,000 public comments to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). ) and Gov Gavin Newsom, who called on them to save rooftop solar and halt investor utility proposals to make solar unaffordable in the state.

In addition to the public comment delivery, solar supporters placed a 30-ft inflatable “utility profit grab” on the steps of the Capitol and performed a “human billboard” message on the Capitol lawn that read “Gov: 100,000+ Say Stop Utility Profit Grab Red California Solar.”

“This is where the rubber hits the road with power outages, rising electricity bills and air pollution,” said Dave Rosenfeld, director of the Solar Rights Alliance. increase our progress and reject the utility profit hold that threatens to set us back.”

The tidal wave of public support for solar energy precedes an expected proposal for a decision by the CPUC in the coming days on the future of grid metering. Grid metering is the government policy that makes rooftop solar more affordable for all types of consumers by compensating them for the excess energy they produce and sharing with their neighbors and protecting them from discriminatory fees. Rooftop solar is growing fastest in working-class and middle-class neighborhoods because of successful policies such as net energy metering.

“The best way to ensure a cleaner and more affordable energy future for our communities is to generate our energy from solar panels on our homes, churches, small businesses and schools,” said Green the Church, Executive Director Pastor Ambrose Carroll “We have a moral responsibility to future generations to expand access to rooftop solar by maintaining net meters for working families and not adding fees that only benefit the major utilities.”

PG&E and other major utilities want to change the rules in their favor to eliminate a growing competitor, trap consumers in utility monopolies, and maintain the need for expensive and often dangerous transmission lines that are a major driver of utility profits and the cost of the taxpayer. Proposals submitted by the utilities and other solar energy opponents would drastically reduce the credit solar consumers receive and add expensive monthly solar charges to their utility bills.

“This is really a debate between energy democracy versus energy monopoly. The major utilities want to protect their control over the supply of energy to protect their multi-billion dollar profits,” said Esperanza Vielma, executive director of the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water. in a way that is cleaner and more affordable.”

If utilities have their way, solar will become unaffordable for most consumers, cost thousands of solar jobs, make California more vulnerable to fires and blackouts, and advance California’s clean energy advances needed to tackle climate change. to fight, derail. By making the clean energy transition slower and more expensive, the utility’s profit grab would cost the state tens of billions over time and $295 a year each taxpayer.

“California risks losing more than 50,000 jobs and 1,500 small businesses if the state turns off its rooftop solar lights,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar & Storage Association. “Governor Newsom and the CPUC should not reward major utilities like PG&E while destroying jobs, harming ordinary consumers and derailing California’s climate change efforts. We must keep California a solar state.”

To date, more than 600 different organizations have supported grid and rooftop solar protection, making the Save California Solar coalition one of the largest in the history of the clean energy struggle in the state. a still strong lobby for fossil fuels.

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