The Golden State would be the world’s fifth largest economy if it were a sovereign state so decisions there have a ripple effect to other communities in the US.
California’s Public Utilities Commission, (CPUC) is considering policies that would have a significant dampening effect on the growth of solar and energy storage in that state. If adopted, other State’s and utility groups will likely follow California’s lead.
In an opinion article in the New York Times, former California (and Republican) Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger notes the progress his state made toward a goal of one million solar roofs with bipartisan support and that further growth is being threatened by the CPUC’s proposed “grid participation fee” and changes to their Net Metering programs.
We need more solar on our grid and to make renewable energy more affordable to low to moderate families and these kinds of policies are typically driven by investor-owned utilities who are driven by economics and not the best interests of the community. Utilities benefit from having distributed energy sources available to help them balance their centralized grid so there is a win-win scenario that is being ignored with these prospective CPUC changes.
Locally, Puget Sound Energy, an investor-owned utility is being forced into making some decisions regarding it’s policies as they are mandated to remove all coal from it’s grid by 2025. They are looking at wind, solar and energy storage as viable options to replace coal which was as much as 1/3rd of it’s energy mix.
Currently, we are not hearing of any threats to Net Metering or anti-solar legislation in Washington state, but we are paying attention to the CPUC proposals.
Be sure to let your local utility know you support policies supportive of renewable energy and if you’re curious about solar, give us a call at 206-706-1931 or fill out our form below to get a free customized solar quote.
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