I recently wrote an article about the threat to rooftop solar net metering — and thus rooftop solar power growth — in California. Then, a few days later, one of our editors found and published “347 Organizations Sign Letter to Protect Rooftop Solar Power in California.” In response to the article, an organization called “Solar Rights Alliance” reached out. It has an interesting campaign underway to try to get rooftop solar power in California saved by putting pressure on California Governor Gavin Newsom to step in. Considering the much broader pressure Governor Newsom is under this coming week and in recent months, perhaps a campaign like this could needle Newsom into some public statements on the matter. Though, I assume he’s too busy for more than that until after Sept. 14.
The top of the alliance’s website starts with a hard-hitting reality: “California’s climate emergency accelerated in 2020. Nearly every resident experienced blackouts and increased wildfire risk. Utility companies ignore the effects of fossil fuel pollution and our rising electricity bills.” Well, even before that was this subheading/callout statement:
“Utility monopolies are threatened by California’s solar progress: don’t let them pull the plug on the future.”
But the bit I quoted above is a bit more relatable to people who aren’t focused on solar topics. They know what’s been happening in the state. They know utilities have issues and charge them a lot of money. They don’t trust utilities, for plenty of clear reasons. When you pull those matters together, it’s easy to understand the framing that rooftop solar net metering is being attacked because utilities just want to make more money off of you.
Already motivated to spend ~10 seconds helping out? Head here to sign a petition.
— Solar Rights Alliance (@solar_rights) September 5, 2021
Here’s how the alliance colorfully and kindly describes utilities and how much they care about you:
Utilities want full dependence on their expensive and unreliable power. This is what they do:
- Build the most expensive grid possible.
- Collect a guaranteed profit on top.
- Force ratepayers to pay more to build outdated infrastructure.
- Spread misinformation about net metering and rooftop solar.
- Create fear and insecurity.
That sounds about right. Though, we will probably be contacted by the PR departments/firms of some utilities shortly to tell us how great they actually are and that they truly have ratepayers’, kids’, and kittens’ hearts in their mind and guiding all of their decisions.
Here’s one more block of persuasion for those of us who still aren’t up in arms:
Here’s the truth:
- Net metering and rooftop solar threaten the utilities business model — they will stop at nothing to protect their bottom line.
- Rooftop solar is critical to meeting California’s clean energy goal and keeping our air clean.
- Rooftop solar reduces strain on the grid and lowers costs for everyone whether they have solar or not.
- Solar, especially with batteries, are a consumers’ best defense against spiking energy costs and power outages.
- Just under half of all solar is going into working and middle class neighborhoods and on a growing number of multifamily apartment buildings.
That’s the story. If you agree, then sign the Solar Rights Alliance petition.
If you’re concerned that none of this will work and rooftop solar power buyers will be punished soon in California, and you live in the state, then consider going solar sooner than later. Get various solar quotes ASAP (it’s free to do so, since solar companies want your business). And if you decide to go with Tesla Solar, feel free to use my referral code — https://ts.la/zachary63404 — for a $100 discount (and a bit of a bonus for me, too).
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