What we need:
- Outreach to Gov Newsom: calls, tweets (scroll down for example tweets), pressure from other electeds
- Letters to the Editor and OpEds
- Outreach to Elected Officials, asking them to join in the campaign to protect solar
- Have your organization sign on to the campaign
Main Talking Points:
- The CA Public Utilities Commission has proposed new rules that dramatically reduces compensation for solar power sold back to the grid – 75% cut
- History shows us that cuts in these compensation rates lead to dramatic drops in solar rooftop adoption
- Continued fast adoption of rooftop solar is the fastest route to a clean grid in CA
- Even with imperfect permitting processes, it’s faster to get solar onto roofs than to develop large scale solar projects (which we will also need)
- The environmental impact of installing solar in already built out areas is minimal
- Large projects face NIMBY, extensive permitting processes, and can create environmental harm
- The faster we have a clean grid, the faster we clean up our air
- Rooftop solar benefits everyone in CA by creating a clean, affordable, reliable grid
- The lynchpin of energy justice is affordable, reliable energy. Multiple studies show that extensive rooftop solar adoption results in lower costs for ratepayers (Vibrant study, Mark Jacobson), estimated at about $300/yr per ratepayer
- Low and middle income rooftop installations are just hitting 50% of the installed base; this will put affordable solar out of reach
- Rooftop solar adds resilience and provides other grid services
- Well-paying local jobs: estimated by Vibrant study at 100,000 new jobs over the next ten years with continued optimal rooftop buildout
- The proposed rules are counter to CA’s climate goals
- We are already behind; Anything that slows the transition to clean energy compounds the problem
- The utilities are pitching a false narrative to perpetuate their profits from an outdated grid design
- The “cost shift” argument – that rooftop solar is hurting ratepayers – is a cynical ploy.
- Linking energy poverty to solar is a cynical ploy and doesn’t begin to address underlying poverty, which needs real policy solutions, not the least of which is a livable minimum wage.
- The analysis backing this claim ignores many of the benefits and overstates the costs
- Californians support rooftop solar: Over 600 community groups representing equity, environmental, affordable housing, and other justice concerns; school districts; and cities and other agencies; all in all, hundreds of thousands of California voices have come together to protest the proposed changes
- Utilities push costs onto ratepayers for malfeasance and criminal negligence; legal, PR, and lobbying campaigns, excessive executive salaries, and payouts to shareholders.
1) Call the Governor’s office. Get everyone you know to do the same.
His # is (916) 445-2841. His lines are open 9-5 Monday thru Friday. We need to flood his office with calls and keep those calls coming.
Here’s a sample script. Modify as you see fit.
“This is ___ from _[city]_. The CPUC’s revised rules about Net Energy Metering will still result in dramatically cutting the growth of rooftop solar. Rooftop solar benefits all ratepayers, and is essential to meeting California’s clean energy goals and speeding the shift to an affordable and reliable grid, and cleaner air for everyone. Thank you.”
2) Email or send a letter to the Governor!
Email link is here. Or send an old-fashioned letter to 1021 O Street, Suite 9000 Sacramento, CA 95814
Sample text. Feel free to adapt.
Re: CPUC NEM 3 proposed rules
Dear Governor Newsom,
The fastest path to 100% Clean Energy in California depends on rooftop solar. Rooftop and other small, distributed systems work with utility-scale projects to increase stability and resilience – while speeding the transition to clean energy, and cleaner air.
Rooftop solar reduces costs for all ratepayers: a twenty-first century grid that includes diverse sources of distributed energy will keep rates low for everyone. Local energy for local use reduces network maintenance costs and the need for new capacity.
Big utilities earn outsized returns on large projects, which is at odds with building an affordable and resilient 21st century grid. The utilities are fighting for a drastic reduction in the credit solar consumers receive for the excess energy they produce, which will stop rooftop solar in its tracks.
Compensation for excess rooftop energy, net metering, helped California reach one million solar rooftops. As prices for rooftop solar have come down, adoption in working and middle-class neighborhoods has increased, and is now about half of all new solar installations. Affordable housing projects, schools and nonprofits increasingly rely on rooftop solar to reduce their energy costs.
Power from the sun belongs to everyone, and the new solar compensation rules will stop the growth of rooftop solar.
Governor Newsom, Californians are counting on you to support rooftop solar and stop the utility power grab. Keep California a solar state by blocking the utilities’ cynical tactics. Protect fair compensation for excess energy, and block a solar penalty fee.
3) Let your friends know, and ask them to pitch in
Here’s a sample email:
Did you know that California’s Public Utilities Commission has once again proposed new rules that would dramatically cut compensation for excess energy going back to the grid?
I’m working with 350 Bay Area to call attention to this proposal because the fastest path to 100% Clean Energy in California depends on rooftop solar. Rooftop and other small, distributed systems work with utility-scale projects to increase stability and resilience – while speeding the transition to clean energy, and cleaner air. And our air in California is dangerously bad.
Rooftop solar reduces costs for all ratepayers, while providing grid stability. Multiple studies show that a 21st century grid including lots of rooftop and other small community solar systems will create low rates for everyone. Local energy for local use reduces network maintenance costs and the need for new capacity. Now that rooftop systems have gotten cheaper, almost half of the systems are on low- and middle-income roofs. Affordable housing projects, schools and nonprofits increasingly rely on rooftop solar to reduce their energy costs.
Big utilities earn outsized returns on large projects, and are fighting for policies that will stop rooftop solar in its tracks. Power from the sun belongs to everyone: the utility profit grab is hampering California’s clean energy vision.
Are you interested in pitching in? Click here for a toolkit for contacting the Governor, and you can copy and paste this email to send to your friends.
Your friend in the sun,
4) Post tweets and messages
The sun belongs to everyone, not just $$ grubbing utilities! California should not dramatically reduce compensation for rooftop solar. Rooftop solar = affordable, reliable energy for everyone! @GavinNewsom please #SaveSolar
Rooftop solar benefits *all* ratepayers by lowering costs & increasing resilience! Low and middle households account for almost 50% of installed systems w more coming as costs drop. We need rooftop solar for the fastest route to clean, affordable, resilient energy @GavinNewsom
5) Write a letter to the editor.
- It’s easy – search “your local paper name” “submit a letter to the editor” to find out how. Usually it’s an email address. The results will also give you a word limit
- Keep it short – don’t try to get in all the talking points
- Try to link it to a recently published article
- Make sure to include your full name and city