San Francisco – Today, the California Public Utilities Commission voted 5-0 to expand California’s highly successful net energy metering program. This critical decision will enable more Californians to go solar, with the potential to add roughly two gigawatts worth of solar power—twice the amount currently installed on homes, schools, farms and businesses across the state.
“Today is a day that will shine bright in California history, bringing more jobs, cleaner air and a more secure energy future for all Californians,” said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate with Environment California Research & Policy Center.
Net metering is the ability to send solar electricity back to the grid during sunny days for use by neighboring homes and businesses and draw from the grid on credit during the night. It is a simple, proven way to help make going solar affordable for consumers, while incentivizing energy efficiency and the generation of pollution-free solar electricity during hot, smoggy summer days.
Thanks in large part to the state’s net metering program, California has more than one gigawatt of rooftop solar power, more than in all but five nations in the world, with solar taking hold in urban coastal centers, mountain communities and Central Valley towns alike. Each megawatt of solar installed prevents the emission of nearly 700 pounds of smog forming pollution, bringing cleaner air to all Californians. In addition, net metering has fostered the development of a robust solar industry, which now employs more than 25,000 Californians all over the state.
For all of these reasons, major organizations including 350.org, CREDO Action, Environment California, Sierra Club, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Union of Concerned Scientists and Vote Solar generated nearly 60,000 email messages to the CPUC from Californians up and down the state in favor of expanding net metering.
“With this vote, the CPUC has responded to an outpouring of support from tens of thousands of Californians who want the state to build on the pioneering vision, commitment and investment that has made California the nation’s solar leader,” concluded Kinman.
Environment California Research & Policy Center is a statewide environmental advocacy and research organization.