NEM3 action

A message to Californians regarding the CPUC's vote against solar

On December 14th, the CA Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted 5-0 to effectively put solar out of reach for the millions of households, churches, schools and businesses that don’t have solar yet. That said, the CPUC decision does not include a solar tax, and maintains existing protections for current solar users.

That said, will you raise your hand with us if you are willing to keep fighting to defend your solar rights?

Let’s not sugarcoat it, the CPUC’s decision was awful: to slash by 75% the credit for sharing extra solar energy with the grid. The new rules apply to those who go solar after April. States and localities that have made similar changes saw solar adoptions drop by half or more. The utilities and their allies applied tremendous pressure, spending more than $40 million in recent years. Even though more people and organizations spoke against the CPUC’s efforts than any other proceeding in CPUC history, the utilities’ point of view prevailed. 

The decision could have been much worse. Together, we prevented these changes from affecting California’s 1.5 million existing solar users, and we stopped the Solar Tax. Over the last two years, we beat back multiple efforts to pass these terrible ideas at both the CPUC and the Legislature.

Together, we organized one heck of a grassroots campaign:

  • More than 170,000 wrote, called, testified and/or protested over the last year.
  • More than 600 other nonprofits, cities, schools, Members of Congress, Mayors and other community leaders spoke up as well.
  • Our efforts sparked hundreds of stories in the newspapers and on TV and the radio, including 61 stories from our simultaneous rallies in ten cities on December 1.

It’s a good thing, too, because we are quite sure the utilities are going to keep pushing for a Solar Tax, retroactive changes on existing solar users, and other gambits to get rid of rooftop solar. We are going to have to defend the moat we built together. And, we believe there is a path forward to correct the damage the CPUC just created. 

More next steps to come soon. For now, please consider the question we asked earlier: will you raise your hand with us if you are willing to keep fighting to defend your solar rights?

Thank you for everything you have done in this fight. Nothing worthwhile is easy. This is a worthy fight and we are proud to be in it with you.

 — The Solar Rights Alliance Team