NEM3 action-Energy Sage

Tell Gov. Newsom & the CPUC: Don't Tax the Sun

Dear Governor Newsom & the California Public Utilities Commission,

“I am opposed to the CPUC’s proposal to make it more expensive for people to put solar panels on their roof. 

Consumers should not be penalized in any way for making solar at their homes, schools, businesses and houses of worship. California should do more to promote local solar, not less. People need relief from high energy bills, blackouts and air pollution. 
Making rooftop solar and batteries more expensive for everyone, especially middle and working class people, makes no sense. It’s the wrong direction for California. Please step in, protect the public interest, promote more rooftop solar for more people, not less. 
[CPUC Docket #: R.20-08-020]

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is considering changes that would make it nearly impossible for most Californians to get rooftop solar

The utilities are lobbying the CPUC to get rid of rooftop solar, which they see as competition that cuts into their monopoly-driven profits. Here’s what the CPUC is considering:

A Solar Tax of $300 to $600 per year ​

The CPUC is considering a Solar Tax based on the amount of solar energy you make and consume. The more solar energy you make (i.e. the less energy you buy from the utility), the higher the tax. It’s like taxing people for hang-drying their clothing rather than running the dryer. 

Sending solar off a cliff​

The CPUC is also considering an 80% cut to the credit solar users get for sharing surplus solar energy with the grid. The credit would drop from an average of twenty-five cents per kilowatt hour to about five cents. We predict it will end the solar market overnight.

Rollback of protections for existing solar users​

Existing solar users are currently protected from changes to net metering rules for 20 years from the date their system turned on. The CPUC has proposed to reduce that protection to 15 years, and eliminate the protection altogether if you accept their battery rebate.

This is a utility profit grab intended to kill rooftop solar just as it is taking off in middle and working class communities.

The CPUC’s proposal is a terrible deal for all working and middle class people regardless of income level. The CPUC claims that their proposal helps low-income people afford solar by exempting them from the solar penalty fee while providing a subsidy of $15 a month for ten years. But we ran the numbers and it doesn’t pencil out. Solar would still be more expensive for low-income people than the status quo.

Governor Newsom has not yet taken a stand

We need your help to ensure he steps and and stops this disastrous proposal by the CPUC. 

Let's stop the Utility Profit Grab. Please join us in speaking out.

More background

In-depth fact sheet

Save California Solar campaign website, a joint project of Solar Rights Alliance and our coalition

CPUC’s 12/13/21 proposal, 5/9/22 request for additional input and Solar Rights Alliance blog post explaining the CPUC’s latest ideas.