California Congress members urge CPUC to not impose a solar tax in revised NEM 3.0 proposal

california state house governor

California’s net energy metering (NEM 3.0) decision remains indefinitely delayed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and lawmakers are hoping for a rewrite when the delay ends.

A group of twenty-six California Congress Members—more than sixty percent of the state’s Democratic delegation–issued a letter to Alice Reynolds, Char of the CPUC, asking to “use the time to look at options that do not harm existing residential solar adopters while achieving an equitable solution for adopters as well as all customers.”

Analysts show dire forecasts for California’s rooftop solar market if the proposed decision is adopted as it was written. “Ultimately, the residential market shrinks to half its current size by 2024,” stated Wood Mackenzie’s synopsis, which was cited in the letter.

In the letter, California congressional representatives noted “imposing a tax on solar panels and reducing the rate of solar power exports by as much as 80 percent will label California as a climate straggler, not a climate leader.”

The letter from California Congress Members comes after a recent statement of support for rooftop solar from Senator Feinstein who said the CPUC’s “proposal that may reduce the pace of adoption of rooftop solar and storage is concerning and may impact the state’s conservation goals as we address climate change.”

Earlier this month, Representative Barbara Lee said: “Making rooftop solar panels and batteries more—not less—affordable for working families and lower-income Californians.” Representative Nanette Barragan wrote in a Los Angeles Times OpEd: “Rooftop solar installations in urban areas can reduce air pollution and provide economic opportunities for small and minority-owned businesses, as well as jobs for local residents.”

The CPUC delayed consideration of its proposed decision indefinitely following intense backlash from solar consumers, solar workers, small businesses, faith leaders, affordable housing advocates, environmentalists and conservation groups.

The twenty six Congress Members from California who signed on to the letter to CPUC Chair Alice Reynolds, dated February 22nd, include:

Representative Mike Thompson
Representative Mike Levin
Representative Maxine Waters
Representative Anna Eshoo
Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard
Representative Zoe Lofgren
Representative Brad Sherman
Representative Barbara Lee
Representative Jim Costa
Representative Doris Matsui
Representative Jerry McNerney
Representative Jackie Speier
Representative Karen Bass
Representative Julia Brownley
Representative Jared Huffman
Representative Alan Lowenthal
Representative Raul Ruiz
Representative Eric Swalwell
Representative Mark Takano
Representative Mark DeSaulnier
Representative Ted Lieu
Representative Nanette Barragán
Representative Ro Khanna
Representative Jimmy Panetta
Representative Jimmy Gomez
Representative Katie Porter

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