ICYMI: LA Times Business Columnist Michael Hiltzik: “Unintended consequences of rooftop solar too significant to ignore.”

Posted on January 21, 2022

Says Solar Industry “addicted to subsidies”… treating them as “their right”
Also calls out former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Flip Flop on Rooftop Solar Reform

Sacramento – In his most recent column, LA Times Business Columnist Michael Hiltzik called incentives to rooftop solar homeowners “overly generous, even lavish” and said California’s Net Energy Metering (NEM) program is “showing its age. It has been so successful, in fact, that some of its unintended consequences have become too significant to ignore.”

Hiltzik raised multiple concerns, “Chief among them is that the incentives awarded to homeowners installing rooftop solar systems have raised costs on consumers who haven’t joined the trend — or can’t. These include lower-income families, renters and occupants of apartment buildings.”

He also called out former Governor Schwarzenegger who said in 2019 that because solar prices had come down so much “now we don’t need any more subsidies.” Schwarzenegger flip flopped and is now opposed to NEM reform proposed by the California Public Utilities Commission.

Other notable quotes from “How California’s rooftop solar program became a victim of its own spectacular success”

“The solar industry and some of its customers have become, in effect, addicted to those subsidies, treating them as their right.”

“There can hardly be any question that the benefits of the rooftop solar revolution have been inequitably shared. That’s because of two main flaws in the program.”

“One is that solar customers avoid paying for the vast majority of costs of operating and maintaining the state’s overall electrical grid. That’s because their electric bills are based on only the amount of power they consume from the utilities — much less than do non-solar households.”

“The other flaw is that the payments received by solar customers for their excess electricity are much higher than the electricity is really worth.”