RSVP Solar Rate Design Public Participation Hearing

The utility companies are at it again. They’re trying to add fees to your electric bill to stop Californians from switching to cleaner, renewable energy.

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Will you attend a public hearing near you to voice your opposition to the utilities’ attack on solar?

Dear {{ user.first_name|default:”Friend” }},

Utility companies want to stick you with high fixed charges in order to stop Californians from going solar. PG&E, SDG&E, and Southern California Edison, the three largest utility companies in the state, want to add fees of up to $10 per month to your bill as a way to discourage us from installing solar panels on our roofs.1

The utility companies are worried that more people like Rosa Mayorga, who lives in the city of Irvine and has solar panels on the roof of her family’s home, are saving money on their bills. Latino families like hers are relying less on energy generated by their local utility — often from burning polluting fossil fuels — and are instead producing their own.2,3

Rooftop solar is wildly popular among Latinos and other communities, with 80% of Latino voters in California believing that state leaders should make it a high priority to increase rooftop solar energy.4 And last year, Presente members helped expose the utility companies’ efforts to buy off Latino leaders in Sacramento so they could pass laws that would discourage households from installing solar panels on their roofs.5

But the utility industry and their allies are at it again, this time plotting to flood public hearings and dominate the conversation with anti-solar propaganda. We can put a stop to the utility industry’s power grab if we join clean energy supporters across the state to voice our support for rooftop solar.

Will you attend a Public Participation Hearing near you to voice your opposition to the utilities’ latest attack on solar?

During the hearings, you’ll have the opportunity to join other members of the community and voice your opposition to the proposed fees and changes to electricity rates intended to discourage the use of solar energy.

The first hearings, hosted by the California Public Utilities Commission, are kicking off this week. And make no mistake, the utility industry will be out in full force with their front groups trying to twist the truth and argue that changes to rates and new fees are actually a good thing — particularly for low-income communities. That’s why Presente members are joining forces with local community members, to voice our opposition to the utilities’ attacks on rooftop solar. The utilities’ efforts are so insidious that even Mark Ferron, a former Public Utilities Commissioner, has warned his fellow commissioners of the utilities’ manipulation of “exaggerated concerns about grid stability, cost, and fairness,” designed to force their proposed fees and rate changes on Californians.6

But this is more than just about energy bills. Since 2007, the installation of rooftop solar panels in California’s low-income households has increased by 364 percent, and in 2011 two thirds of all installations took place in middle- and low-income neighborhoods.7 Not only that, but our state’s rooftop solar industry has created over 47,000 jobs in the state, 20% of which employ Latinos.8

Will you attend a Public Participation Hearing near you to voice your opposition to the utilities’ latest attack on solar?

Thanks, and ¡Adelante!

Arturo, Refugio, Mariana, and the rest of the Team

P.S. Can you donate $5 to support our work? We rely on contributions from people like you to see campaigns like this through.


1. Poisoned Chalice Electric Rate “Fixing” Threatens Community Energy in San Diego, San Diego Free Press, September 12, 2014

2. Solar Panels Empower Low-Income Latino Communities: The Utilities Try to Spoil the Fiesta, Huffington Post, October 8, 2013

3. Solar panels could destroy U.S. utilities, according to U.S. utilities, Grist, April 10, 2013

4. Latino Organization Launches Campaign to Counter California Utilities’ Attacks on Rooftop Solar Economy, Sierra Club, August 14, 2013

5. SoCal Edison Not Laughing at Rooftop Solar Satire Video, KCET, August 19, 2013

6. We must stop utilities from strangling rooftop solar, SFGate, February 12, 2014

7. On Rooftops, a Rival for Utilities, The New York Times, July 26, 2013

8. California Solar Jobs Census 2013, The Solar Foundation, February 2014