Low-Income Families and Millions of Electricity Customers Will Continue to pay a Hidden Solar Subsidy Tax Under the CPUC's New Proposed Decision

Posted on November 10, 2022

Proposal Fails to Comply with Legislation Mandating NEM be Cost Neutral for All Customers

Sacramento – Affordable Clean Energy for All, a coalition of 120 organizations representing low-income families, seniors, environmental, labor, small business and community groups, expressed disappointment with a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) November 10 Proposed Decision on the state’s rooftop solar subsidy program, Net Energy Metering (NEM).

The CPUC’s new Proposed Decision released today fails to make the meaningful reform necessary to ensure that all electricity customers, those with rooftop solar and those without, pay their fair share of the costs for electric grid reliability, wildfire mitigation and other state mandated programs that benefit all Californians.

“Many families and small businesses are already struggling to make ends meet and  this proceeding was an opportunity to fix the growing inequity caused by the outdated NEM program. This proposal falls far short of fixing the problem,” said coalition member Azizza Davis Goines, President and CEO of the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce.

“It is unacceptable that low-income families, disadvantaged communities and others without a voice will continue paying more than their fair share to achieve the state’s clean energy objectives,” said coalition member Reverend Frank Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Village Solutions Foundation.

“It is extremely disappointing that under this proposal, low-income families and all customers without solar will continue to pay a hidden tax on their electricity bills to subsidize rooftop solar for mostly wealthier Californians,” said Affordable Clean Energy for All spokesperson Kathy Fairbanks.

Continued Fairbanks, “The failure to finally eliminate the growing cost burden carried by non-solar customers in California is particularly troublesome given the billions of dollars in new federal clean energy subsidies that will ensure continued growth and healthy profits for large solar corporations for the next decade.

“The record in this extensive proceeding clearly demonstrated that Californians with rooftop solar are not contributing their fair share toward the electric grid, wildfire mitigation, energy efficiency and other public purpose programs that benefit us all.  These costs are being shifted to the electric bills of Californians without solar.”