Hundreds plan to rally in S.F. Thursday to stop CPUC’s latest solar tax proposal

“Don’t Tax the Sun” event is part of the largest ever submission of live and video-recorded public comments in CPUC history

Organizers claim tax will boost utility profits at the expense of clean energy needs 

San Francisco—Hundreds of solar workers, consumers, clean energy advocates, community leaders, conservationists, and climate activists will join together at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) headquarters building in San Francisco on Thursday to protest the CPUC’s latest proposal to tax rooftop solar and drastically reduce the credits consumers receive for selling their solar energy back to the grid.

After a brief rally, solar supporters will line up to give public comments during the CPUC meeting. In Los Angeles, another thousand solar supporters will record their video testimonials to submit to the CPUC. Combined, Thursday’s actions are expected to be the largest ever submission of live and video-recorded public comments in CPUC history.

  • WHAT: 500+ ‘Don’t Tax the Sun’ rally and largest ever CPUC public comment submission
  • WHEN: Thursday, June 2 at 11:00am PDT
  • WHERE: CPUC headquarters at 505 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco where the CPUC will be opening its doors to in-person public comment.
  • WHO:  Large and diverse coalition of solar supporters.
  • VISUALS: Rally and more than 500 solar supporters lined-up to give public comments wearing bright red ‘Don’t Tax the Sun’ tee-shirts with signs and banners.

The CPUC is currently considering changes to “net energy metering,” the state policy that makes rooftop solar more affordable for consumers of all types by compensating them for the excess energy they produce and share with their neighbors. Currently 1.5 million consumers use net metering, including thousands of public schools, churches and affordable housing developments, and it is the main driver of California’s world-renowned rooftop solar market. As a result of net metering, working and middle class neighborhoods are just under half of the rooftop solar market and the fastest growing segment today.

Big utilities want to change the rules in their favor in order to eliminate a growing competitor, keep consumers stuck in utility monopolies, and maintain the need for costly and often dangerous transmission lines that are a key driver of utility profits and ratepayer costs.

Despite the overwhelming popularity of rooftop solar and net metering in California, the CPUC is considering a proposed decision, favored by investor-owned utilities, to implement a monthly solar penalty tax while also slashing credits consumers receive for their excess solar energy.

The CPUC had previously proposed a similar steep tax on rooftop solar and an immediate gutting of the credits of solar consumers. The unpopular proposed decision was shelved for an indefinite amount of time earlier this year after intense backlash and public disapproval from Governor Newsom. The CPUC’s recent ruling to re-open its net energy metering procedures seems again to be pursuing a tax, this time hidden and under a different name.

By contrast, solar supporters want to keep solar growing and affordable for all types of consumers, ensure California remains on track with its clean energy and land conservation goals, and accelerate the growth of solar plus storage to build a more resilient electric grid.

About Save California Solar

Save California Solar is a coalition formed to help ensure that rooftop solar continues to grow and benefit every Californian. Save CA Solar includes more than 600 diverse organizations and helped generate 150,000+ public comments submitted in support of net metering ahead of the CPUC proposed decision. Learn more at www.savecasolar.org.

 

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