SAN DIEGO — A coalition of climate activists and solar workers held a rally Thursday morning to fight back against a proposal they say will hurt the expansion of rooftop solar.
"We don't think there should be any cuts to rooftop solar right now. We are not only in the middle of a climate crisis in which we need to transition to clean energy rapidly, but we are also paying the highest rates in the nation in San Diego. Rooftop solar is the only way homeowners can provide relief from skyrocketing electricity rates," said Climate Justice Policy Manager Karinna Gonzalez of Hammond Climate Solutions Foundation.
The rally was held at St. Stephens Church in Valencia Park. Rallies were also held in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Bakersfield, Fresno, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, Berkeley, Stockton, and Chico.
Under existing rules, solar customers can sell extra energy they aren’t using back to their power company for credit on their bill.
This month, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will vote on a proposal to reduce the amount utility companies credit customers for that surplus of solar power.
According to Save California Solar, the reduction could be as much as 75% compared to current rates.
If passed, this new rule would only apply to new customers, not those with existing solar systems.
Demonstrators Thursday said slashing those credits will make solar less affordable for customers, which means fewer people will want to get rooftop solar, which they believe will slow down the growth of solar across the state.
However, California’s utility companies have argued solar customers aren’t paying their fair share for the overall cost of the electric grid, which they still rely on when their panels aren’t generating power.
CPUC is scheduled to vote on the proposal on December 15.
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