Between the Solar Industry and utilities, there is an increasing power struggle. Solar panels have become very common as a way to save money on electricity. However, the California Public Utilities Commission is currently reviewing a plan that would alter consumer benefits. Bernadette Del Chiaro, from California Solar and Storage Association, said, “I want people to know that San Diego, Sempra and the other utility companies are coming after your ability to go solar and it’s a real threat.”
SDG&E and other state utilities are requesting that regulators approve a plan that would reduce the bill credit provided to solar customers by more than half while still charging them a monthly fee. “If the utilities have their way with what they’re lobbying the state to do, California’s rooftop Solar Industry will die,” said Del Chiaro.
SDG&E issued the following statement: “The heart of this modernization effort addresses an unfair and growing inequity stemming from earlier versions of the rooftop solar Net Energy Metering (NEM) program. This cost shift leads to electricity customers without solar systems paying about $3 billion more annually in their electricity bills to subsidize existing rooftop solar customers.”
Later this year, the CPUC will hold a closed-door vote. The only way for the people to get their voices heard is to put pressure on their local lawmakers and Governor Gavin Newsom of California. By 2030, the number of Americans who have solar panels installed on their homes is expected to triple.