ICYMI: "State Public Utilities Commission needs to go back to the Drawing Board," says San Jose Mercury News/ East Bay Times.
Posted on December 12, 2022
“… design a rate plan that ensures solar customers aren’t subsidized by less-wealthy electricity ratepayers.”
Sacramento – In a December 11 editorial, the San Jose Mercury News and East Bay Times urged the California Public Utilities Commission to “dump” the current rooftop solar Proposed Decision and “go back to the drawing board and design a rate plan that ensures solar customers aren’t subsidized by less-wealthy electricity ratepayers.”
The CPUC is scheduled to vote on this Proposed Decision on Thursday, December 15, even though it fails to completely address the unfair cost shift. As written, the Proposed Decision continues the unfair cost shift inherent in the state’s rooftop solar subsidy program, Net Energy Metering.
Here’s what the Mercury News and East Bay Times had to say about the latest proposal:
- “Rooftop solar still has a key role to play in fighting climate change. But solar no longer deserves a thumb on the scale in California’s effort to find the most efficient green-energy solutions. It’s past time for state lawmakers to allow wind, geothermal and other renewable energy sources a chance to compete on a level playing field.”
- “The new proposal would extend the payback period for covering the capital costs of rooftop solar systems to an estimated nine years.But it is still too generous for solar customers and pushes too much of the fixed cost for the state’s electrical grid onto other ratepayers.”
- “We understand that rooftop solar companies want to maximize profits and secure their long-term future. But utilities are right when they argue that rooftop solar owners don’t pay enough of the fixed costs for maintaining the grid, an inequity that would continue under the proposed plan. The burden of paying for power distribution, wildfire mitigation and investing in new technologies would continue to disproportionately fall to the rest of the electricity consumers
- California’s estimated 1.5 million rooftop solar customers, who produce more than 11% of the state’s total electricity production, are disproportionately wealthy.”
- “A Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that about half of the state’s solar adopters are in the highest 20% of earners, while only 4% come from the lowest 20%. The PUC says that more than $4 billion in costs was passed on to non-solar customers in 2021.”
- “The PUC needs to go back to the drawing board and design a plan that ensures that all customers fairly share the burden of utilities’ fixed costs.”