Coalition supporting reform of the rooftop solar program grows to more than 100 diverse groups

Posted on October 14, 2021

Affordable Clean Energy for All calls for a fix to the unfair Net Energy Metering cost shift which unnecessarily raises electric bills for non-solar customers

Sacramento – Affordable Clean Energy for All announced today it has reached a major milestone and had grown to 113 diverse groups including low-income, seniors, faith-based, community and business organizations. The coalition has come together to raise awareness about the need to reform California’s 25-year-old Net Energy Metering program (NEM). Inequities built into the program are needlessly increasing electricity rates for millions of residents including those least able to pay.

Azizza Davis Goines, president & CEO of the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce said, “The generous subsidies given to homeowners with solar panels are still based on conditions from 25 years ago. Since then, the price of solar has dropped by 70% yet the subsidies keep going up and up.”

Continued Goines, “Given California’s clean energy progress, dramatically falling rooftop solar prices, and policies that support continued growth of rooftop solar in California, it’s difficult to rationalize why the same generous subsidies should remain. This is particularly so when those subsidies end up being paid predominantly by lower-income residents and small businesses. We want NEM reform to ensure solar homeowners pay their fair share.”

The Affordable Clean Energy for All coalition supports the continued growth of rooftop solar and the state’s commitment to clean energy but is encouraging reform of NEM’s antiquated rate structure to fix the cost shift that is benefitting solar homeowners at the expense of everyone else.

“Net Energy Metering is making clean energy more expensive than it needs to be,” said Deborah Howard, Board President, California Senior Advocates League. “Under NEM, we’re paying 25 cents per kilowatt hour for energy generated by rooftop solar when it only costs 3 cents on the wholesale market. That makes no sense and if this price disparity isn’t addressed, these inflated costs will slow California’s long-term transition to clean energy.”

“We can achieve a clean energy future for our grandchildren without burdening seniors on fixed incomes with high electric bills. We need to make changes to the solar rooftop program to ensure everyone continues to pay their fair share,” said Hene Kelly, Legislative Director, California Alliance for Retired Americans.

“We value clean energy and strongly support solar,” said Ed Rendon, Executive Director, San Gabriel Valley Civic Alliance. “But the NEM program needs to change because of inequities the program is creating. This unequal benefit not only harms residential customers without solar, but also forces small businesses to pay more.”

“Rooftop solar is the most expensive form of clean energy today because of the excessive subsidies in the Net Energy Metering program. This negatively affects low-income communities of color,” said Veatrice Jews, Health Committee Chair/PACE Cohort, Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches. “This needs to change so California can meet its clean energy needs more affordably and without unfairly burdening low-income customers and small businesses that cannot install solar.”