California’s Ratepayer Advocate Working Against Consumer Solar

For decades, the Utility Reform Network (TURN), has been an advocate for ratepayers, working to hold utilities like PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E accountable. They’ve done some good work over the years.

Unfortunately, TURN is now using their reputation to attack rooftop solar. Their proposal to the CPUC is similar to the one made by the utilities: hit solar users with a monthly penalty fee and slash the credit solar user receive for sharing their extra energy with the community.

Recently, we got a hold of draft campaign materials that TURN is using to build support for their proposal. We were disappointed to see TURN significantly misrepresent the facts when it comes to rooftop solar and batteries.

We’ve taken the liberty of annotating TURN’s campaign materials, with citations.

TURN anti-solar campaign materials, annotated

Instead of promoting false claims about rooftop solar, TURN might better serve the public by focusing on the primary factor driving up electricity bills:  the estimated $9 billion that ratepayers will be charged this year alone just for maintaining and building long-distance power lines and “wildfire mitigation”.

Rooftop solar is a key strategy for mitigating these costs, as would removing the utilities’ perverse incentive to build and profit from expensive infrastructure.

We’re not sure what’s going on with TURN, but we’re sure their claims are not tethered to the facts.

TURN anti-solar campaign materials, annotated

Here’s a deep dive into the accounting methods used by the utilities and their allies like TURN to vilify rooftop solar.