California assembly bill 1139, which was an attempt to allow utilities to charge rooftop solar customers a monthly fee and alter net-metering credits, failed yesterday, as lead author Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) failed to gather enough votes to move it through assembly. The solar industry dubbed the bill the “utility profit grab bill.”
Solar advocacy groups, including the California Solar + Storage Association, Solar Rights Alliance and Environment California, celebrated the “win” for the industry.
“Thankfully, the legislature and the public saw through the smokescreen of negativity levied on solar energy by utilities such as PG&E. AB 1139 was a well-funded and power-backed effort by the big investor-owned utilities to change the rules in their favor so they can profit off the energy created by solar consumers and eliminate a growing competitor in the energy market. However, they ultimately failed to accomplish their goal via the legislature,” CALSSA said in a blog post.
While the assembly bill may be dead, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is still considering adjustments to net metering in the next few months. CALSSA stated that utilities are asking for many of the same changes that were considered in AB 1139. A public petition supporting the rights of solar customers can be signed at www.SaveCaliforniaSolar.org.