From: Dave Rosenfeld, Save California Solar coalition <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, Jun 19, 2021 at 7:29 AM
Subject: Save California Solar campaign update 6/18/21
Stop CPUC from gutting the value of solar
The coalition was at the CPUC this week to deliver a “down payment” of 27,000 public comments in support of keeping rooftop solar growing, and making it more equitable so millions of working and middle class Californians can access it. More below.
Happy Saturday! Here’s your weekly update on the effort to Save California Solar. Background materials are at the bottom.
27,000 public comments against the Utility Profit Grab delivered to CPUC & Governor Newsom
On Wednesday, we held a press conference at the CPUC to highlight that the #UtilityProfitGrab is still alive. Afterward, we delivered ten boxes containing 27,000 public comments, a “down payment” on the 200,000 we aim to mobilize by the end of the summer.
Watch it here, speakers begin a little before the 27 minute mark.
In a classic move by an undemocratic institution, CPUC officials ordered us to take down the inflatable 30-foot tall “Utility Profit Grab Man” right before the event started, even though we had advance permission by officials at the Commission (see the 11 minute mark in the video link). No matter, we moved our press conference to the sidewalk without the “Utility Profit Grab Man” and continued the event.
BIG thank you to the amazing speakers, listed below, who painted a vision of what the world will look like when millions of Californians can access rooftop solar
• Mayor Jesse Arreguín of Berkeley, California
• Pastor John Current, Hope United Methodist Church, San Francisco
• Laura Deehan, State Director, Environment California
• Mari Perez-Ruiz, Chair, CADEM Renters Council
• Paola Laverde, Commissioner, Berkeley Rent Board and Steering Committee, Berkeley Tenants Union
• Mary Murtagh, Executive Chair of the Board, EAH Housing
• Laura Neish, Executive Director, 350 Bay Area
• Kristina Pappas, SF League of Conservation Voters
• Richard Skaff, Executive Director, Designing Accessible Communities
• Bill Allayoud, CA Director Government Affairs, Environmental Working Group
Priority Action for next week: Stop CPUC from gutting the value of solar
Next Thursday, the CPUC is scheduled to vote on a new method to calculate the value of solar that grossly undercounts its value, and would give the CPUC cover to eviscerate net metering.
Two actions you can take:
• Submit a written comment to the CPUC by June 24th telling them to pull back Resolution 5150 and remove the bias against rooftop solar. Follow this link and click on the “Add Public Comment” box.
• Make a verbal comment online to the CPUC on June 24th. See instructions for dialing into the CPUC meeting.
At issue is the Avoided Cost Calculator (ACC), the state’s official method of calculating the value of rooftop solar. The model was developed by E3, the consulting firm under contract for the CPUC. E3 is routinely hired by utilities to produce reports slanted against local solar and in favor of large-scale renewables.
Without public discussion, E3 and CPUC staff slipped in major revisions to the updated ACC that slash the 2021 value of rooftop solar to just one-third the current value. Here’s a quick and dirty fact sheet with more detail.
If this goes through, it gives the CPUC cover to adopt the utilities’ proposals to slap solar users with new monthly fees and slash the credit for sharing extra solar energy with the neighborhood. Please take a moment to submit a comment to the CPUC.
Celebrating this amazing coalition
It bears repeating as we gear up for a long, hot summer fight at the CPUC. This coalition accomplished an amazing feat by defeating AB 1139. Backed by the most powerful forces in the Legislature, the bill was moving like a freight train when it first surfaced.
Even as late as the week of the Assembly floor vote, it was unclear that all of our efforts were succeeding in changing lawmakers’ minds. But when we heard that Assemblymember Buffy Wicks received 1,500 calls from constituents, and other lawmakers’ offices reporting 300 or more calls from their voters, it was clear that something good was happening.
Below are some acknowledgements. Call-outs like these inevitably leave out important people and organizations. Fortunately, the story of AB 1139 must be told and retold. Please send over your story of what you did to defeat AB 1139 and it will go into the next update. It’s going to be a long, hot summer and there’s nothing like a good win to propel us ahead!
Credit first and foremost goes to the people of California who exercised their rights and spoke up to their lawmakers. Next are the many, many organizations who mobilized. Everyone played a part. Some examples:
• Organizations in the San Diego Green New Deal Coalition such as Climate Action Campaign, San Diego 350 and Hammond Climate Solutions organized like crazy, as well as leaders like Eddie Price who flew up to Sacramento to rally the grassroots.
• The Indivisible Green Team led by Jennifer Tanner mobilized activists around the state to personally and forcefully lobby numerous lawmakers, as did 350 Bay Area, other 350 chapters and Environment California.
• Activist Sara Lee organized a pop-up protest in front of Wendy Carrillo’s office (see above photo), bringing dozens of LA climate activists together to promote a better energy democracy vision.
• The 500 small and medium sized businesses that make up the majority of the solar industry also mobilized in force, encouraging their customers and employees to make their voices heard, and encircling the Capitol with solar work trucks at the Capitol Rally.
Toolkit has been updated
Need a fact sheet, a sign on letter, an infographic, link to a great article or report? Get it all here. Don’t see what you need? Holler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much for all you do to make the world a better place for everyone!
— Dave Rosenfeld, Save California Solar campaign