California Climate Legislation: Help save ROOFTOP SOLAR!

[from the Solar Rights Alliance; hat-tip Danett Abbot-Wicker.]

Rooftop Solar is on the Ropes.

  • Bowing to utility lobbying, the CA Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recklessly gutted the state’s net metering rules in 2022 and 2023.
  • The result is that rooftop solar has become less affordable for everyday people, schools, and farms.
  • The solar industry reports that sales are down by around 80% and nearly 17,000 solar jobs have been lost so far.

Realizing that the CPUC is out of control,
some legislators have proposed BILLS to get rooftop solar growing again!

Here are some of our favorite bills:

  • AB 1999 (Irwin) would stop the big Utility Tax by capping it at $10/month and prohibiting it from rising any faster than inflation.
  • AB 2619 (Connolly) would ban solar taxes and require the CPUC to revise their net metering decision to align with the state’s actual clean energy goals.
  • SB 1374 (Becker) would restore the right of renters, farmers, and schools to make and consume their own solar energy, a right that the state took away from these folks last year.
  • AB 2256 (Friedman) would require the CPUC to include all the benefits of rooftop solar when deciding how much credit solar users get.
  • AB 2054 (Bauer-Kahan) would ban former CPUC commissioners from being employed by the companies they regulate for ten years after their term ends.
  • SB 938 (Dave Min) would prohibit private utilities from lobbying with ratepayer funds.
  • AB 3118 (Wallis) would make rooftop solar the “official state energy” of California.

Please give these pro-solar bills a boost by sending a message to your legislators HERE.

And also, sign our online petition HERE.

[There, did ’em both – Vern.]

California Climate Budget

  • The Governor released his proposed budget and failed to include funding for ALL new laws signed in 2023, including SB 253 and SB 261, the corporate accountability bills!
  • This means that we must advocate for our allies in the legislature who voted for SB 253 and SB 261 to prioritize funding these two major climate laws in the budget!
  • We also know that Newsom wants to change aspects of the new laws, based on the Governor’s signing messages for both SB 253 and SB 261:
    • We are calling on no changes which would compromise the timely implementation and core components of the laws, such as the use of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and Scope 3 emissions reporting.

Lawsuit Filed…

  • We are also facing opposition that has now brazenly filed a politically-motivated lawsuit:
    • On January 30, the US Chamber of Commerce and the American Farm Bureau filed a lawsuit against SB 253.
    • They claim the law violates the First Amendment’s protections against compelled speech.

What You Can Do:

  • Ahead of May’s Budget Review hearings in both houses that will cover CARB’s budget, we are asking supporters to sign onto a broad coalition letter calling for the full funding to implement SB 253 and SB 261 and to not change the laws in ways that would undermine the core components of the laws

[Done- Vern]

Action Item:

  • Call your state Assemblymember and Senator and tell them to repeal the “Utility Tax” (AB 205) by PASSING AB 1999 to stop the tax!
    • This tax will be the highest in the country and will increase electricity bills on millions of working people, while also discouraging energy conservation!

Background on the UTILITY TAX

  • Last year, the Legislature voted to require all California ratepayers to pay a new Utility Tax – this requirement was buried in a much larger “budget trailer bill” that was passed in three days with no public discussion! 
  • The CPUC is in the process of deciding how big the Utility Tax will be; the utilities and other organizations are proposing the highest Utility Tax in the country—$400 to $1,500 per year!
    • These proposals will increase electricity bills on millions of working families that live in apartments, condos, and small homes – it will also discourage all forms of energy conservation.
  • WE CAN’T EMPHASIZE ENOUGH HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS – we’re talking about millions of low- and middle-income people seeing bill increases. This isn’t a minor “some people lose/some people win” kind of thing – this is a gut punch to people who are low and middle income living in smaller dwellings struggling to make ends meet!

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.