What is CA AB 1139 and Why Should You Care?

Rally to Stop the Profit Grab

SMA joined hundreds of California Solar and Storage Association members in a motorcade and rally yesterday on the premises of the California State Capitol to express opposition to Assembly Bill 1139.

What is AB 1139?

AB 1139 is a measure promoted by California’s investor-owned utilities, including PG&E, Southern California Edison, and SDG&E, to drastically cut net metering, add flat fees, and eliminate competition in the rooftop solar market. This would make solar more expensive and put it further out of reach for most home and business owners.

What is Net Energy Metering (NEM)?

Net metering lets solar users give their extra solar energy to their neighbors and get credited for it. The credit helps reduce the electricity bill for people who have rooftop solar.

How Does Rooftop Solar Benefit Californians?

When power is produced at its point of consumption, it increases grid reliability and reduces strain on distribution components. It also allows utilities to avoid paying for production and distribution infrastructure costs. NEM quantifies this value and compensates the consumer accordingly. Without a viable net metering rate, utilities receive all the benefits of distributed solar while families and business bear the investment costs.

Why Should You Care?

If you care about having control over your utility bills, preserving good jobs for Californians, and preserving our planet, then you should care about this bill.

California families, schools, farms, and businesses use rooftop solar to control their energy bills. The utilities are calling for drastic cuts to net metering that would make solar more expensive, and less accessible for most Californians, especially for working and middle-class people.

Sixty full-time jobs are supported by every megawatt (MW) of local solar energy built and California made over 1,200 megawatts of local solar in 2019. Thousands of small businesses and more than 70,000 jobs are at risk. AB 1139 will stall out the solar market.

From wildfires to heatwaves, California is witnessing the most extreme weather events in its history.  The state’s aging electrical grid can’t keep up. Rooftop solar and batteries can help!

California’s rooftop solar systems produce nearly 13 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean energy each year, avoiding 5 million metric tons of CO2 annually. The California Energy Commission estimates California will need three times as much rooftop solar as it does today to meet its clean energy goals.  The bill will also undermine the state’s clean energy goals.

The Irony!

Utilities are turning on more utility-scale solar farms than ever before but have proposed a price hike on rooftop solar that would effectively stop regular folks from getting those same benefits. Why? Because they want to keep the benefits for themselves.

How Can You Help?

You can help stop the utility’s profit grab! Your contribution is very simple but will have an important impact. Call your California legislators and tell them to vote No on AB 1139 and send this petition to Governor Newsom.

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