Proposed Decision 20-08-020 – Reforms to Rooftop Solar Program, Long Overdue

Submitted on August 24, 2022

Dear Commissioners:

We urge you to take long overdue action to enact meaningful reforms to the state’s rooftop solar program, Net Energy Metering (NEM). Meeting California’s equity and decarbonization goals requires the elimination of the decades-long unfair cost burden on 90% of Californians without solar who are disproportionately renters and lower income residents.

It’s been 10 years since the legislature mandated the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) fix the cost burden on non-solar customers, and it’s been 254 days since proposed reforms were released last December.

Under the current NEM program, costs toward the electric grid that used to be shared more equitably by all customers are being disproportionately paid by non-solar customers. Every day that goes by without reform needlessly raises electricity bills by $12 million a day. That means non-solar customers have paid nearly $3 billion in higher electricity bills so far this year, or $250 extra per year, per customer, to cover electric grid costs that are no longer being paid by solar customers. Without change, this amount will grow to more than $550 a year.

The continued delay in making any meaningful updates to this nearly 30-year-old program has resulted in rooftop solar being the most expensive form of clean energy available.

Among the data and key findings that validate the urgency for reform:

The Commission has done a commendable job of balancing numerous competing interests and we appreciate the complexity of this issue. From a customer perspective, however, it is time for action and the solution is simple:

  • Every customer that relies on the electric grid should pay their fair share.

The very profitable solar industry’s sensationalized opposition to this simple concept is dumbfounding. Surely, we do not expect an increasingly shrinking population of Californians who don’t have or can’t afford rooftop solar to fund the reliability and resiliency of the electric grid for everyone?  The solar industry’s claim that proposed reforms are discriminatory is not only false, but offensive to the millions of customers who have been paying an unfair and effectively regressive tax on their electric bills for years to fund the excessive subsidies mandated by this program.

Please ignore the hysteria and focus on the facts. It’s well past time for NEM reform. 

Thank you for your consideration,

Kimberly Fuentes, Policy and Communication Director
California League of United Latin American Citizens

 Adriana Ayala, Executive Director
The Chicana Latina Foundation

Susy Borlido, Co-Executive Director
Sustainable Works

Mike Meador, Founder and CEO
California Greenworks

Deborah Howard, Executive Director
California Senior Advocates League 

Nancy Rader, Executive Director
California Wind Energy Association

CiCi Rojas, President
The Latino Coalition

Jesse B. Johnson, Jr., Founder
100 Black Men of Long Beach, Inc.

 Jose L. Perez, President and CEO
Hispanics In Energy

Jenn Lowe, Legislative Director
Association of California Cities – Orange County

Antonio Sanchez, Political Director
IBEW Local 11

Colin Lavin, Business Manager/ Financial Secretary
IBEW Local 47

Nate Fairman, Business Manager
IBEW Local 465 

Hunter Stern, Assistant Business Manager
IBEW Local 1245

John Mader, President
Engineers and Scientists of California Local 20, IFPTE

 Julian Cañete, President and CEO
California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce

Matthew Hargrove, President and CEO
California Business Properties Association 

Isela Perez, Editor
The Latino Journal

Matthew Hargrove, Statewide Administrator
ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) 

Matthew Hargrove, Statewide Administrator
Building Owners and Managers Association California

Matthew Hargrove, Statewide Administrator
NAIOP of California

Michael Salazar, President Elect
Rio Hondo Vernon Rotary Club 

Edward J. Rendon, Executive Director
San Gabriel Valley Civic Alliance

Azizza Davis Goines, President and CEO
Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce

Jorge DeNava, Executive Director
Central Valley Opportunity Center

Gil Jaramillo, Executive Director
Tulare Kings Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Vicky Ventura, CEO
Antelope Valley Chambers of Commerce

Iris Gutierrez, Board Member
High Desert Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Betsy Chou, VP of Finance & Operations
Sharefest Community Development 

Ramiro A. Cavazos, President and CEO
United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

John Gamboa, President
California Community Builders

Emma Hernandez, CEO
Southeast Community Development Corporation

Robert McDonald, President & CEO
Black Chamber of Orange County

Jennifer Bullard, Sr. Vice President of Advocacy and Government Affairs
Orange County Business Council

Ortensia Lopez, Executive Director
El Concilio of San Mateo County

Luis H. Sanchez, CEO
Community Resource Project

Cesar Zaldivar Motts, Executive Director
Newstart Housing Corporation

Maria S. Salinas, President & CEO
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Pilar Pinel, Founder and CEO
Embracing Latina Leadership Alliances

Vickie McMurchie, Executive Director
Dana Point Chamber of Commerce

Rev. Frank Jackson Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Village Solutions Foundation

Val Martinez, Executive Director
Redwood Community Action Agency

Victoria Hernandez, Executive Director
South Orange County Economic Coalition

Scott Ashton, CEO
Oceanside Chamber of Commerce 

Scott Alevy, President and CEO
Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce

Carla Peterman, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Pacific Gas & Electric

Erin Stream, Executive Director
The Arc of Riverside County

Sithea San, Chairman, Board of Directors
Cambodia Town, Inc.

Andres Herrera, Board President
El Concilio Family Services

Patricia Donaldson, President and CEO
Hawthorne Chamber of Commerce

Michael Turnipseed, Executive Director
Kern County Taxpayers Association

Iris Gutierrez, Founder
La Dulce Vida Publications & Events

Luis Portillo, President and CEO
San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership

Doug Zielasko, CEO
Mission Viejo Chamber of Commerce

Regina Weatherspoon-Bell, Founder
Dreamers, Visionaries, and Leaders

Michael Backstrom, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs
Southern California Edison 

Anthony Duarte, CEO
Regional Chamber of Commerce-San Gabriel Valley

John Gamboa, Co-Founder
The Two Hundred Project

Susana Sngiem, Executive Director
United Cambodian Community of Long Beach

Paul C. Granillo, President and CEO
Inland Empire Economic Partnership

Joe Solache, President
Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce

Dan Skopec, Senior Vice President, State Government Affairs & Chief Regulatory Officer
San Diego Gas & Electric

Carol Rosen, Program Director
Soroptimist International Manhattan Beach