by Dave Rosenfeld, Solar Rights Alliance
Sometime next year, California will behold its one millionth solar installation — wow! Millions of Californians are now benefitting from the savings, freedom and independence of solar energy.
California families on tight budgets and retirees on fixed incomes who depend on solar to shield them from skyrocketing electricity costs are benefitting from reduced energy bills.
California workers like the 70 employees of Manteca almond grower Travaille & Phippen are benefitting from T&P’s solar installation; owner Dave Phippen says the savings from solar help him continue to offer good local jobs.
And Californians who want to reduce their burden on society, increase their resilience in an emergency, or reduce their carbon footprint are also benefitting from solar.
In the coming years, we have the chance for millions more Californians to benefit from rooftop solar.
That is, if the electric utilities do not get their way.
California utilities have lobbied to make it harder and more expensive for people to choose solar, working to kill the “net metering” credit and saddling solar users with expensive interconnection delays and red tape.
Why? Because when you choose solar, the utilities’ monopoly weakens.
Fortunately, you now have a way to join your voice with other solar users and fight back to defend your investment: the Solar Rights Alliance.
Solar Rights Alliance is a nonprofit that brings solar users together to defend and expand the right of every Californian to choose solar energy. We launched in 2018 and our nearly-7,000 members have already made a difference.
Solar Rights Alliance members flooded lawmakers’ offices this year with emails and phone calls to help stop a utility scheme to anoint themselves the sole decision-makers of who gets to install solar on their rooftop.
Our members were a critical grassroots force to extend the battery storage incentive, so that more people than ever can store and use their extra solar energy at home in a battery, rather than pay the utility.
“I am grateful to the Solar Rights Alliance for really stepping up to be a voice for solar consumers,” says Susan Bryer-Shelton, energy program coordinator at the Center for Climate Protection. “When those of us who are proudly generating clean solar energy unite to advance our interests, good policy happens.”
In 2019, the Solar Rights Alliance will defend the net metering credit from yet another attack by the utility industry. We will push to pass a Solar Bill of Rights that guarantees everyone’s right to harness electricity from the sun. We’ll also help residents cut through expensive local red tape that too often delays solar projects.
And, we’ll continue to provide our members with unbiased advice to protect their investment — from maintaining panels to adding energy storage.