Rooftop solar panel program at risk

rooftop solar panels

Solar panels on our house.

I’ve just done my citizen activist stint for the week: fired messages to the California Public Utilities Commission, Governor Brown, and my state assemblyman and senator regarding a proposal by big utility companies to gut the rooftop solar panel business by increasing infrastructure fees and drastically reducing the credit solar panel owners get paid for releasing the surplus electricity they generate. It seems that letting consumers generate their own electricity is cutting into big business’s profits. The CPUC is expected to make a decision by mid-December.

Here’s what I wrote to the CPUC. If you’re interested in adding your voice, you can find more information at: (our vendor)

TO: California Public Utilities Commission
In this time of global climate change, I urge you to reject a proposal by utility companies to gut the solar “net metering” program by increasing infrastructure fees and severely reducing the credit solar panel users earn by selling their daily surplus to utility companies. The utilities’ proposal privileges company profits over responsible citizens’ response to the challenge of global warming.

When my husband and I had solar panels installed on our house nearly two years ago, we contracted with PG&E to pay a monthly service fee, which we assumed was based on a reasonable calculation of our share of infrastructure costs. We also contracted to sell back our excess power at a reasonable market rate. If allowed to charge excessive fees, and/or short solar panel owners as vendors of electricity, PG&E and other utility companies will not only discourage other people from installing rooftop solar systems, but also discourage users of existing solar panel installations to be frugal and responsible in their use of electricity, since there will be no incentive to conserve.

The issues raised by global warming are so huge that we cannot allow any backsliding on conservation. Again, please reject the utility companies’ proposal.

One Response to “Rooftop solar panel program at risk”

  • Alice Richards:

    I agree that Electric companies should not penalize solar users with excessive fees passed on to consumers as well as discourage consumers to conserve usage by not allowing viable sell backs for excess power.
    BUT I also think that so called”climate change” has become just a hoax, greatly exaggerated for political gain and liberal votes.
    There have been climate changes on the globe for thousands of years that ranged from ice ages, to waters evolving to make streams into ocean size bodies of water to winds and heat that brought “dust bowl” conditions.
    We need to be prudent and cut down on emissions but “climate change” is a minority issue compared to the threats of nations breaking up, killing each other, ISIS barbarians consuming the world and human migration threatening the civil living of each country’s citizens.

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