ICYMI: Sacramento Black Chamber calls for reform to state’s Net Energy Metering program

Posted on May 7, 2021

“The outdated, 25-year-old program is contributing to higher electric rates across California and increasing the bills of customers without solar” including small businesses

Sacramento – Azizza Davis Goines, president & CEO of the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce, is calling for reform to the state’s rooftop solar subsidy program because lower-income Californians and small businesses are subsidizing electricity bill discounts provided to wealthier homeowners with solar panels.

In her commentary in CalMatters yesterday, Davis Goines called the 25-year-old Net Energy Metering program (NEM) outdated and the generous subsidies given to homeowners with rooftop solar are “contributing to higher electric rates across California and increasing the bills of customers without solar…

“Given California’s clean energy progress, dramatically falling rooftop solar prices, and policies that assure 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.

“The cost shift is not consistent with state law and needs to be fixed,” she said.

A diverse array of consumer and environmental groups like The Utility Reform Network (TURN), AARP, Natural Resources Defense Council and the Public Advocates Office of the CPUC, along with the coalition Affordable Clean Energy for All, are collectively calling for reform. Their approaches vary, but they all recognize the systemic, unfair cost shift must be fixed before it gets worse.