There are many solar advantages, including lowering your carbon footprint by replacing utility power with solar electricity and reducing U.S.
dependence on foreign energy. But the undisputed #1 reason why homeowners go solar is to save money. In California, when you qualify for renewable energy incentives, your local utility company may pay you for the energy that your rooftop panels produce. But these incentives are in danger of going away.
Utility companies provide credits to solar homeowners for the electricity they produce and return to the grid. The utilities pay solar homeowners full retail price for this electricity in an arrangement called “net energy metering”, or NEM. Because of the growing popularity of solar energy in California, utilities are attempting to cripple the rooftop solar energy industry by putting an end to net metering. Without NEM, there would be little financial incentive for homeowners to invest in solar panels.
Many taxpayers got in on early incentives, but these incentives are phasing out. The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) held hearings on the relationship between rooftop solar and the utility companies. California utility companies requested higher fees for monthly usage, applying for solar, connecting to the grid, and more. And of course, they requested fundamental changes in the NEM plan. If their requested changes are approved, they will increase the average rooftop solar bill from a projected $65 to $135 per month.
If the PUC follows the requests of the big utility companies, it will be lights out for California’s solar energy industry. The present federal tax credits for solar homeowners are up for renewal at the end of 2016. In the meantime, the PUC is set to vote at the end of December 2015 on dissolving NEM.
You can prevent this from happening. Follow President Obama’s lead—He stands by solar as the wave of the future, saying, “For decades we’ve been told that it doesn’t make economic sense to switch to renewable energy. Today that’s no longer true.” (NPR, Science Friday, August 25, 2015). We have one of the greenest governors in the history of California—Jerry Brown. You can join the coalition of consumers who support net metering and rooftop solar energy production in California.
Start by speaking out and signing the petition to tell Governor Brown to protect rooftop solar, reject additional fee hikes from the PUC, and continue to make solar electricity available and affordable for all Californians, no matter their income status. Email Governor Brown and sign the petition today at www.saverooftopsolarca.com. Contact us for more information about how to safe rooftop solar financial incentives and how to go solar and reap solar advantages now.