Editor,

I installed solar panels several years ago and want it to be easier, not harder, for my neighbors to do the same. I’d also like to expand my solar system but if I do so, PG&E will put me on an inferior rate plan with a higher fee. Now, industry lobbyists have just convinced our California state senators to gut the SB 288, and it’s time for the public to push back. 

Don’t let lawyers for the status quo stop us all from doing the obvious right thing: harnessing the power of the sun to reduce pollution.

SB 288, also known as the Solar Bill of Rights (Wiener), would have prohibited utilities from adding fees that punish solar users for making their own energy. We should be making it easier to do the right thing for all of us, not stopping that progress to protect the status quo for utilities. The idea that lobbyists were able to convince a small group of state senators on the Senate Appropriations Committee to look after their needs, and that they worked together to pull this off without any public discussion is just plain wrong.

Please reach out to your state lawmakers to bring back the Solar Bill of Rights. Don’t protect the utility company status quo when making much of our power from the sun can be the new normal.  

Dave Karow

San Carlos

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(1) comment

Dirk van Ulden

Dave - the lobbyists that you are referring to are actually the utility rate payers who have not decided to install a solar system. As one of those, we are subsidizing your solar system economics as you are not paying your fair share of the utility infrastructure that remains in place for you when the sun 'don't' shine or your system does not function. That is called standby and I see no reason why utilities need to continue providing you with discounted service. We all make decisions based on prevailing economic considerations but we also should take into account that the energy world in particular is very dynamic. Utilities respond to rate payer concerns and Wiener's bill should be amended for the stated reasons to reflect 2019 realities.

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