The California Public Utilities Commission is currently considering changing the payment structure for utility customers who install rooftop solar on their homes and businesses. Right now under a policy called net metering, utility customers get credited when they are producing more electricity than they use. Recent news articles like this one and this one have pointed out the potential catastrophic effect on the expansion of rooftop solar, if the CPUC adopted the utilities’ proposals to add new fees and reduce payments for solar electricity generated.

Here’s my brief statement before the California Public Utilities Commission today, in support of net metering:

My name is Emily Rusch and I am the Executive Director of CALPIRG. We are here today in support of robust net metering policies.

Consumers should get paid fairly for their rooftop solar.

It is appropriate and important that net metering policies consider the societal benefits of reduced pollution and the avoided costs of new transmission lines and power plants.

With me I have a list of 80 groups and individuals who have sent you a letter in support of policies to protect and expand rooftop solar. They include social and environmental justice organizations, education groups and school districts, business organizations and investors, local elected leaders, faith communities, tribal organizations, and farmers.

Today we join 130,000 Californians who have signed petitions urging you to protect net metering, reject new fees, and continue to expand solar access to more Californians.

Nicole Walter, a third year student at UC Berkeley and the Chair of the local CALPIRG Student chapter, also spoke before the Commission and at a press conference held on the steps of the Public Utilities Commission that morning. CALPIRG student chapters across the state collected more than 7,000 petition signatures from their peers urging the CPUC to protect net metering.

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