The Solar Bill of Rights

The Solar Bill of Rights

In these uncertain times, everyone should be free to make their own energy from the sun.

Wildfires. Blackouts. Bankruptcies. Budget-busting electricity prices.

It's no wonder more and more Californians are looking to solar energy. Homeowners, farmers, renters, schools and businesses alike want more peace of mind and control than what the utilities can offer. 

So why are the utilities lobbying against your right to make solar energy?

The electric utilities spend millions of ratepayer dollars lobbying to make it harder and more expensive to go solar, such as:

  • Attacks on your right to make and store your own solar energy. Your solar energy is yours, period. But the utilities would love to take control of your energy if they could. One recent proposal would have forced you to give up your solar energy to the utility and then buy it back from them.

  • Surprise fees that punish you for having solar. One utility recently tried to hit all of its solar customers with a $40-$60 per month fee that would have devastated consumers and killed off the local solar market.

  • Red tape. It should be easy for you to add battery storage in your home or business, so you can keep your extra energy rather than giving it away to the utility. But the utilities often force customers to wait months or longer before they can use their batteries.

  • Attacks on net metering. You should get a fair credit for your extra solar energy. It's local, clean and cheaper than energy piped in from far away. But the utilities tried to kill the net metering credit in 2016, and we expect them to try again this year.

The Solar Bill of Rights was meant to protect your personal freedom to make solar energy. That is, until lawmakers gutted it.

The Solar Bill of Rights is a bipartisan proposal (Senate Bill 288) authored by State Senators Scott Wiener and Jim Nielsen.

As originally written, it expanded personal freedom by guaranteeing:

  • Your right to make and store solar energy on your property without interference from the utility

  • Your right to connect your solar and storage to the grid quickly, without utility red tape

  • Your freedom from unfair fees that discriminate against you just for having solar

But facing powerful opposition from utilities, a committee of State Senators secretly gutted the Solar Bill of Rights in May, with no public discussion. As of today, the above provisions are no longer in the legislation.

Tell your state lawmaker: put the "Rights" back into the Solar Bill of Rights!

It is an outrage that the utilities can pressure our elected representatives to act against the public interest. We are not going to stand for it.

Thousands of solar users are contacting their elected representatives and insisting they stand up to the utilities, and stand up for personal freedom. Will you?

To be delivered to your California lawmakers:

"It has come to my attention that the Solar Bill of Rights (SB 288 - Wiener/Nielsen) was gutted after aggressive utility lobbying.

I respectfully ask that you do everything in your power to restore these "Rights" to the Solar Bill of Rights:

 - The right to make our own energy without utility interference.

 - The right to be free from fees that discriminate against solar users for choosing solar."