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Leaders from the environmental community across the globe urge Governor Newsom for solar conservation
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Leaders from the environmental community across the globe urge Governor Newsom for solar conservation

70 national and state environmental groups send letter to governor regarding key renewable energy resource

SAN FRANCISCO California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), considers guttingThe state’s bedrock solar program is a broad coalition from national and state environmental groups Wednesday, delivered a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom The letter urged them to immediately issue a solution that would allow rooftop solar to continue to grow. The letter was sent by 70 organizations including Environment America, Environment California Greenpeace Greenpeace The Nature Conservancy Sierra Club Environmental Working Group and Center for Biological Diversity.

California has been a leader in clean energy for many years, from putting solar on a million roofs to committing 100% clean electricity, stated Laura Deehan (Environment California Research & Policy state Director). This proposal is against the leadership of California and the more 120,000 Californians who asked Gov. Newsom and CPUC need to save solar. California needs more rooftop sun, not less, to protect our environment and climate.

This letter was written in response to the CPUC’s proposed decision on net Metering. This program compensates solar customers who send more electricity back to the grid. The proposed decision would cause severe cuts to the program, which has helped 1.3million Californians invest into a clean energy future.

CPUCs proposal would penalize those who want to invest in clean energy solutions. It creates a monthly solar tax of $48 for a typical home system that produces solar energy. This is the highest solar penalty in the nation. It also reduces the compensation for extra electricity sold back at the grid by around 88%.

The commissions plan would also reduce protections to existing solar customers. This decision would allow current solar customers to take advantage of the NEM program rates at favorable net energy metering (NEM), five years earlier than what was promised by the CPUC.

Ben Sonnega, Environment America Solar Energy and Storage Campaigns Director said that California is the focus of all attention right now. Although the Golden State has been a leader in rooftop solar, an abrupt move such as this will not only knock the state off its perch but could also spell doom for the entire country if this kind of policy is adopted.

These policies can seriously impact solar development in other states. Nevada instituted a solar fee and cut NEM compensation in 2016. Although the changes made by Nevada were less severe than those currently being proposed by CPUC for CPUC, a policy shift by Nevada resulted in a 47% decrease in residential solar installations over one year. Nevada restored net-metering in 2017, which resulted in a rise in solar adoption and a return to earlier residential rooftop solar adoptions.

Gov. Newsom recently indicated that there would be Some changes were made to the proposal. However, no final decision was made.

Deehan stated that he is eager to see any revisions made to the original proposal. We want to see the revision remove all solar penalty fees, compensate customers fairly for the true value and honor the 20-year agreements given to existing solar customers.

This letter follows the Release of a full-page color advertisement in San Francisco Chronicle, the Governor’s hometown paper, asking him to Save Rooftop Solar.

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