ICYMI: Chair of Senate Energy Utilities and Commerce Committee Says Rooftop Solar Subsidy Program is Unfair to Renters and Reform is "Long Overdue"

Posted on April 27, 2022

Sacramento – In a recent opinion piece in the Chula Vista Star News, State Senator Ben Hueso, Chair of the Senate Energy Utilities and Commerce Committee, said the state’s rooftop solar subsidy program, Net Energy Metering (NEM), imposes unfair costs on renters and that reform is “long overdue.” 

Under the current NEM program, monthly subsidies provided to solar customers are so excessive, these customers no longer contribute their fair share toward the maintenance of the electric grid or toward state mandated programs such as energy efficiency and low-income assistance. These fixed costs don’t go away when someone installs solar, they are just shifted to non-solar customers.

Here are some excerpts from the opinion piece.

  • “…. I have been a passionate advocate for policies that not only advance the state’s transition to 100-percent clean energy but do so in the most affordable and equitable manner for all Californians.”
  • “It is wrong that families who are already struggling are paying higher electricity bills to subsidize solar panels for homeowners and wealthier Californians.”
  • “If changes are not made to the program, the cost burden on renters and lower-income Californians without solar will grow to $555 per customer per year by 2030.”
  • “While in the Assembly, I voted for AB 327, which required the CPUC to fix this cost burden by 2017. Not only is reform five years overdue, but the cost burden keeps getting worse.”
  • “….the status quo is unacceptable….We can’t allow another year to go by without righting this wrong.”