“Meeting the goal of 90 percent clean energy is impossible without a lot more rooftop solar.” 

Sacramento, CA—Today Governor Newsom signed a package of legislation aimed at addressing climate change, including advancing California’s clean energy goal to 90% clean electricity by 2035. Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar & Storage Association (CALSSA) issued the following statement:

We enthusiastically applaud Governor Newsom for his leadership in fighting climate change and for setting goals that move California toward a clean energy future. 

By all measures, meeting the goal of 90 percent clean energy by 2035 is absolutely impossible without a lot more rooftop solar installed at homes, apartments, businesses, churches and schools around the state. That is why we also commend Governor Newsom for his opposition earlier this year to a proposal from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) that would have slammed the brakes on California’s solar progress by taxing it and making it unaffordable for most consumers. 

With new commissioners and leadership in place at the CPUC, we are hopeful for a proposal that follows Governor Newsom’s lead and keeps rooftop solar and storage accelerating in order to advance, not hinder, California’s race to clean energy in the fight against climate change. 

CPUC Net Energy Metering Proceeding Background:

The CPUC is considering changes to “net energy metering,” the state policy that makes rooftop solar more affordable for consumers of all types by crediting them for the excess energy they produce and share with their neighbors. Currently 1.5 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. Together, these distributed solar energy systems have added 13 gigawatts of solar energy to the state, roughly the size of six Diablo Canyon nuclear power plants. In addition, consumers have added nearly 1 gigawatt of energy storage which played a meaningful role in keeping the lights on during last week’s heat wave. 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.

Big utilities want to change the rules in their favor in order to eliminate a growing competitor, keep consumers stuck in utility monopolies, and maintain the need for costly and often dangerous transmission lines that are a key driver of utility profits and ratepayer costs.

Despite the overwhelming popularity of rooftop solar and net metering in California, the CPUC’s proposed decision released late last year would have implemented a monthly solar penalty tax while also slashing credits consumers receive for their excess solar energy.

The unpopular proposed decision was shelved for an indefinite amount of time earlier this year after intense backlash and public disapproval from Governor Newsom. The CPUC then issued a ruling to re-open its net energy metering proceeding. Based on the 90 day window that began with the July 1, 2022 deadline for intervenor comments on the CPUC’s proceeding, a new proposed decision is expected to be released on or before September 29, 2022.

With rooftop solar’s vital contribution to reaching California’s clean energy goals, the promise of battery storage for grid reliability, and new federal incentives for going solar, a diverse coalition of solar supporters are calling on the CPUC to keep solar growing and affordable for all types of consumers