Proposed Assembly Bill 1139 is bad news for solar in California.
California Solar is in trouble! A new legislature Assembly Bill 1139 is being voted on at the end of May that is bad news for solar and will kill the solar industry in California. This bill would force California utilities to update to Net Energy Metering (NEM) 3.0 for new AND existing solar customers, which harms both the growth and the future of solar energy in California.
Assembly Bill 1139 has the potential to cause many detrimental changes to the solar industry. The most important and harmful aspects of this bill to note include:
- Solar energy customers will be charged monthly fees based on gross usage. This includes energy that consumers import from the grid AND what they produce and self-consume with solar.
- Export credits will drop over 80% to only .03 cents. This is the same rate utilities pay for dirty oil and gas energy. This will result in payback times skyrocketing to 20+ years, making solar completely financially worthless.
- NEM 3.0 goes into effect retroactively, effectively terminating established contracts with the utilities. It gives only a 5-year grace period from the time solar is installed before forcing current solar customers to the new rates. Many consumers will lose money on their investment after being promised 20-year contracts with the utilities.
- Does not address customers with current leases, PPA’s, or loans. If this goes into effect, they will not only still be paying off these contracts, but then also go back to essentially the same utility bills as before going solar.
- Forces prevailing wages for solar employees. This type of industry-wide minimum wage is unheard of and will kill smaller companies like Sungenia because they will have an even harder time competing with the larger companies who already employ some union workers.
- California lawmakers are pushing this bill for “equity” using exaggerated cost-shifting numbers to suggest that lower-income communities are subsidizing solar for the rich. But it’s simply not true! Nor does this bill propose anything to help or incentivize lower-income people to go solar, it merely makes going solar useless for everyone.
Sungenia Team Member and daughter of Sungenia’s CEO, Casey Baker, wrote an impactful letter with more detailed information and reasoning behind why you should Vote NO on Assembly Bill 1139, petition the bill, and why it is horrible for the solar industry in California.
“… [A]s a solar owner and solar industry worker, to ask you to vote NO on AB 1139, proposed by Lorena Gonzalez. This bill will undoubtedly destroy the solar industry in California, effectively killing my family’s solar business… If this bill passes, we will lose the company; and our employees, including myself, will be out of a job. Much like the Nevada debacle in 2015, AB 1139 will turn California backward and virtually eliminate rooftop solar.” ~ Casey Baker
Sungenia Solar Solutions is against moving forward with Assembly Bill 1139. The bill is counterintuitive to the growth of solar usage, solar jobs, solar companies, and the solar technology industry. It is endorsed only by the electrical and utility unions making it especially harmful to smaller, family-owned solar companies just like Sungenia Solar Solutions. Not only would it monopolize the solar industry by driving out smaller to medium-sized solar businesses, but it will also keep all residences and especially lower-income communities from going solar, and lead to an exponential rise in the cost of solar energy usage. Keep informed and find out more important information about this bad news bill here.
Spreading awareness about this attack on solar, contacting your local representative, and stopping the bill from being passed can all help save solar energy and keep solar growing in California. Local representative, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, is the one responsible for trying to push this bill through. Please help rescue solar from this bill by contacting Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez to petition Assembly Bill 1139.
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