SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Save California Solar coalition launched a new advertising effort this week, including broadcast television, cable and radio ads, calling on Governor Newsom and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to reject an investor-owned utility profit grab and instead keep rooftop solar growing and affordable in California.
The ads come as the CPUC considers changes to “net energy metering,” the state policy that makes rooftop solar more affordable for consumers of all types by compensating them for the excess energy they produce and share with their neighbors. Currently 1.3 million consumers use net metering, including thousands of public schools, churches and affordable housing developments, and it is the main driver of California’s world-renowned rooftop solar market. As a result of net metering, working and middle class neighborhoods are just under half of the rooftop solar market and the fastest growing segment today.
Despite the overwhelming popularity of rooftop solar and net metering in California, the CPUC is considering a proposal submitted by the investor-owned utilities to gut the successful program by drastically reducing the credit solar consumers receive for the excess energy they produce and add a $65-90 monthly solar penalty fee to their energy bills. By holding back rooftop solar, utilities would eliminate a growing competitor and maintain the need for costly transmission lines that are a key driver of utility profits.
In the new video ad “Powered by the Sun,” Bay Area small solar business owner Jeanine Cotter talks about “building a clean energy future…saving consumers money and creating good jobs.” However, that progress will be threatened if big utilities like PG&E get their way, so Cotter urges Governor Newsom and the CPUC to stand with consumers and reject big utility plans to grab more profits “so we can keep building a better future.”
“If Utilities Get Their Way,” the new 60 second radio spot, goes deeper into the consequences of going backwards on California’s commitment to rooftop solar, including the loss of jobs, higher fees for solar consumers, more vulnerability to blackouts, and a slower and more costly path to reaching our clean energy goals. The spot shares the findings of a new study showing the utilities’ plan could cost the average family nearly three hundred dollars a year in higher energy costs.
“Powered by the Sun” will be airing during primetime news on KTVU and MSNBC in the Bay Area. It will also air during primetime news on KCRA, MSNBC, and CNN in Sacramento. “If Utilities Get Their Way” will air during morning drive time in the Bay Area on KCBS-FM and in Sacramento on KFBK-FM. The ads are accompanied by a new digital video running online and a targeted mailer.
To date a coalition of more than 400 local and statewide organizations and leaders, including environmental justice, climate, conservation, housing affordability, faith, business, labor, and equity perspectives, signed onto the campaign to save rooftop solar in California. The coalition is calling on the California Public Utilities Commission to strengthen net metering, make rooftop solar accessible and more affordable for everyone, and increase battery accessibility for those who go solar, thereby increasing the community benefits of rooftop solar.
A proposed decision by the administrative law judge overseeing the net metering proceeding is expected to be released in early December and up for CPUC consideration in early 2022.
About Save California Solar
Save California Solar is a coalition founded by the Solar Rights Alliance, California’s association of solar users, to help ensure that rooftop solar continues to grow and benefit every Californian. Learn more at www.savecaliforniasolar.org.
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SOURCE Save California Solar