Save California Solar coalition unites for a day of action

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Hundreds gather at 10 coordinated rallies throughout California to save rooftop solar

On Thursday, hundreds gathered at 10 rallies throughout California calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to save rooftop solar in California. Environmental activists, energy consumers and green workers raised their voices in support of rooftop solar as the CPUC held its meeting in San Francisco. Californians rallied in San Diego, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Bakersfield, Fresno, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Stockton and Chico.

Supporters rallied at the CPUC in San Francisco to keep rooftop solar growing.Photo by Ben Grundy | TPIN

Environmental advocates say the CPUC’s proposed decision from this past month, while an improvement on its initial proposal from last year, is still “too extreme” and would discourage further rooftop solar adoption in the state. The proposal includes a 75% cut to the credit that new solar customers would receive for selling extra solar-generated electricity back to the grid. The proposal would make it more difficult for California to meet its ambitious climate goals by discouraging further adoption of rooftop solar.

“The CPUC’s proposal throws a wrench into a successful incentive program that has helped California become number one in the nation for solar production,” said Steven King, Clean Energy Advocate with Environment California Research & Policy Center. “By discouraging everyday Californians from going solar, we put our climate, public health and energy resilience at risk. To build a clean energy future, rooftop solar is an important tool we need to keep in our toolbox.” King spoke at the Los Angeles rally, which took place at the Plaza Olvera.

Rooftop solar has a variety of benefits that make it worthy of strong consumer incentives. Installing more solar panels on California’s rooftops helps conserve natural spaces and biodiversity, reduces the need for expensive long-distance transmission infrastructure and cuts global warming pollution by generating more clean, renewable energy.

“If California wants to lead on climate we need more solar, not less,” said Ben Grundy, Conservation Campaign Associate with Environment California Research & Policy Center. As a global biodiversity hotspot, California has a responsibility to protect our diverse wildlife and ecosystems from a changing climate and destructive development. Rooftop solar is a key element in transitioning away from dirty fossil fuels and protecting the health of our planet.” Grundy spoke at the San Francisco rally in front of the CPUC.

Steven King speaks to supports in Los Angeles rallying to save rooftop solar.Photo by Dave Rosenfeld | Used by permission

Echoed across all 10 rallies, environmental advocates called for Gov. Newsom and the CPUC to take “urgent action to keep solar growing in California.” The CPUC will vote on its rooftop solar proposal this month on December 15.