Dan's Solar Blog
My solar panel installation day and experience with going green.

We won!!!

Solar Wins: California rejects Utility’s proposed charge on Rooftop Solar
Last month, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) struck down a proposal from San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to charge their customers who own solar PV systems an extra fee for use of the distribution grid.    This charge would have added up to $30 a month to customers that generate solar power for their own use. The effect of this charge would have changed the financial payback and energy savings equation for business and homeowners investing in their own solar systems — essentially freezing the San Diego solar market and setting a dangerous precedent for other utilities.

Sierra Club California, the Utility Consumer’s Action Network, Walmart, the City of San Diego, dozens of solar installers, and others protested SDG&E’s proposed new fee.  Sierra Club intervened in SDG&E’s rate case and argued that the proposal was illegal and contrary to California’s goal of subsidizing and promoting renewable energy.

The CPUC agreed. “Development of such a rate element could affect not only SDG&E and solar customers, but also PG&E, SCE and other distributed generation and self-generation customers,” wrote CPUC Commissioner Mark Ferron in the ruling. “Furthermore… I am concerned that this particular . . . [charge] may be inconsistent with current law.”  In its ruling, the CPUC cited California law that prohibits utilities from creating a “new charge” that would increase costs for customers that generate their own energy. SDG&E was directed drop its charge and resubmit its proposal for restructuring utility bills.

While this is a big victory for solar in California, the battle is not over. Sierra Club California will be on the watch for attempts at the Legislature by the utilities to undermine laws that promote customer generated renewable energy. We will also continue to follow the SDG&E rate case at the PUC.


[copied from the Sierra Club California newsletter]


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