California, Don’t Tax Solar: Proposal could tear down building blocks for our jobs, rooftop solar energy accessibility and climate goals
Rachel Schapira, BayWa r.e.’s Director of Residential Finance, urges her home state to keep solar accessible for all.
by Rachel Schapira | Jul 6, 2022 | Building a Healthy Business (new)
This article was originally published
by Rachel Schapira on her LinkedIn account
. We have shared it here with her consent.
On June 2, I attended the Don’t Tax the Sun Rally in San Francisco, along with hundreds of advocates, to protect our state’s jobs, a growing clean energy economy, and our path to a cleaner future. Together, we created the largest ever submission of live public comments in the history of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). California is unrivaled in terms of solar energy growth, both in adoption and job creation. The industry is supported by state laws that protect our right to go solar.
The most important of these laws, a program known as net metering (NEM), is at risk and we need to urge Governor Newsom to protect our solar rights.
The concept underlying NEM is simple: when rooftop solar panels produce more electricity from the sun than a home or building needs, the extra electricity goes back into the electric grid and is used by someone else. The utility company pays the homeowner for this excess solar energy through their electric bill. This common-sense policy benefits homeowners and expands solar adoption, resulting in good paying jobs and in turn economic growth.
Clean energy remains the biggest job creator across America’s energy sector, employing nearly three times as many workers as work in fossil fuel extraction and generation.
more jobs than fossil fuels
I’m one of the more than 68,000
solar workers in the state and my career allows me to provide for my family. The solar industry creates living wage jobs
that can’t be outsourced, most of which don’t require a college degree. The door should stay open to create opportunities for other Californians and our state’s economic future. Clean energy remains the biggest job creator across America’s energy sector, employing nearly three times as many workers as work in fossil fuel extraction and generation.
-- Rachel Schapira
“To reach our 2035 energy goals, the U.S. renewable energy industry needs to grow by 900,000 workers, yet changes to net metering could delay this growth.
Director of Residential Finance, BayWa r.e. Solar Systems
As a solar veteran of 10 years and part of the sales program team at BayWa r.e., a global renewable energy group, I understand firsthand how net metering saves working families a substantial amount of money on their energy bills. The CPUC’s latest ruling on May 9 that re-opened the official record of the NEM 3.0 proceeding, continues to cling to flawed mechanisms to charge a typical residential consumer nearly $700 per year to have rooftop solar. Further, there is no guarantee that the charges won’t increase in years to come. NEM 3.0 also creates an invisible fee for new-home builds, which are mandated to include rooftop solar installations because of the California solar mandate, a new building code passed in 2018. These changes would make solar unaffordable for most working- and middle-class families, which now represent nearly half the solar market.
When he was mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom grew local solar and created jobs and economic opportunity in the city. Now as Governor, Newsom can and should enable Californian to go solar—not make our clean energy transition lose steam. After all, 71% of voters
want to see California do more to encourage and expand rooftop solar across the state. Pulling the plug on our state’s solar growth would send a strong message to the rest of the nation that we are turning our back on our clean energy future and our values. All this at a time when our national strategy aims to garner nearly 50-percent of its electric supply from solar energy by mid-century.
believe California should do more to encourage the use of solar*
of California voters support net metering
oppose the proposal to reduce the credit*
In August, the CPUC will make a final determination on the state of rooftop solar in California. Please join me in urging Gov. Newsom to protect solar energy for all. You can get involved by signing the online petition by the California Solar & Storage Association (CALSSA) at www.savecaliforniasolar.org/sign-petition
. Together we can save net metering in California, and by extension, create jobs, greater energy security and economic opportunity.
Are you a California Solar Installer? Your customers’ adoption of solar is on the line.
What can you do? Join CALSSA to continue building a thriving solar industry in California.
Join CALSSA to Support Your Industry.
is a native Californian with a decade of experience in the renewable energy industry. She is the Residential Finance Program Director at BayWa r.e. Solar Systems, a leading U.S. distributor of top-tier solar and energy storage components and systems.