California solar inequity

Source: BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico • Posted: Monday, April 4, 2022

The debate over slashing rooftop solar incentives and levying a monthly fee on solar owners in California is about more than the $3.4 billion a year in subsidies given to net metering, Pedro Pizarro, president and chief executive officer of Edison International, parent company of utility Southern California Edison, said at the SEJ conference on Friday.

The California Public Utilities Commission review of net metering rules has divided state lawmakers, but energy officials continue to push the commission to revamp the current solar program. Pizarro said non-solar customers, many of whom are low-income customers, end up paying for subsidies directed to affluent, solar system owners. “It’s simply about equity,” he said.

But Jamal Lewis, director of policy partnerships and equitable electrification at Rewiring America, highlighted other options to address the equity issue such as including solar in low-income weatherization programs.

“Just because currently the system favors those who have solar and the fact that the people who have solar are largely wealthy individuals, that means we have to reform the system, but it doesn’t mean we reduce all incentives for all people,” Lewis said.