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Guest opinion: California must not undermine the advance of clean energy

Original post made on Feb 27, 2022

California state Sen. Josh Becker touts the big advancements in solar power across California, but raises concerns that changes proposed by the California Public Utilities Commission could slow progress towards clean energy.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, February 27, 2022, 8:53 AM

Comments (3)

Posted by Observer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2022 at 10:56 am

Observer is a registered user.

Becker says "we should protect existing customer."
What he's saying is we need to protect the wealthy customers, his voters and donors, including the solar industry.
Home solar users are being paid 8 times the value of the electricity they send back into the grid. They are being subsidized by the higher electric bills of those without solar.

"It's wrong that non-solar customers, many of whom live in disadvantaged communities or are renters without the option to install solar, are paying for subsidies that go to primarily wealthier property owners with solar panels,” said Kathy Fairbanks, a spokeswoman for Affordable Clean Energy for All, in a statement.
“Solar industry attempts to fight any proposed reforms are motivated by their desire to protect their bottom line profit margin. The higher the subsides, the more the solar companies profit and the more their executives and shareholders are compensated. We believe everyone who uses the electric grid should pay their fair share.”

The cost of rooftop solar (systems) has dropped 70% while the subsidies have continued to increase over the past 25 years, making rooftop solar the most expensive source of clean energy — eight times costlier."

Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 27, 2022 at 1:14 pm

Brian is a registered user.


Menlo Park passed a requirement that all new houses must have Solar. Many of the people in my neighborhood have added Solar Power to their homes to offset the high costs of PG&E as well as to help the environment. I assure you I am not getting paid 8 times what PG&E is charging for electricity. In fact when I put electricity back into the grid I am losing money because I then pay much more for it in the evenings when I am not generating. I would love to add batteries but that is pricy right now. In addition PG&E charges me a monthly fee to connect my solar system to their grid and I don't have a choice as it is required to be connected to them. I would personally over to get rid of PG&E completely but that is not an option. Letting them collect more and more money from Solar owners to give higher bonuses to the execs is ridiculous. Maybe they need to money to help pay off all the lawsuits they have for not maintaining the grid in the first place and causing multiple deadly fires around the state? Should that be the responsibility of people adding Solar to their homes.

Maybe it is time for Menlo Park to go the way of Palo Alto and take charge of their own utilities. Then they could invest in community power banks that excess solar power flows into and users can then take power when needed and pay a small additional fee to pay for the banks and maintenance. It seems to have proven to work in Australia. I would add more panels if that were the case...

Posted by Richard
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 28, 2022 at 4:36 pm

Richard is a registered user.

Observer is stating incorrect information. The utilities are hiding behind the claim that lower income residents are not being treated fairly. To the extent that is the case, the solution is not to cut bck on solar. but to enable solar projects that benefit this portion of the residents. Becker has it right.

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