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Letters to the Editor: Edison CEO on why California rooftop solar rules must change

Rooftop solar panels are installed on a home in Watts in 2021.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
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To the editor: Your Nov. 10 article, “California pushes a new plan to cut rooftop solar incentives,” propagates the solar industry version of the “big lie” that the growth of rooftop solar in California hurts the business model of investor-owned utilities like Southern California Edison.

Reforming outdated incentives for rooftop solar is a much larger threat to solar industry giants, evidenced by their more than 20% stock price gains immediately after the new plan was announced — because the proposal’s reforms did not go far enough.

Reforming net energy metering in California will not affect the profitability of investor-owned utilities because they don’t earn a profit based on retail electricity sales; they earn a return, authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), for building, operating and maintaining the electric grid that serves utility customers.

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Without significant reform to California’s net energy metering regulations, households without rooftop solar ― primarily renters, lower-income households and seniors ― will continue to pay hundreds of dollars more on their electric bills each year. Amid record-setting inflation, now is not the time to continue outdated, extravagant subsidies on the shoulders of the people least able to bear them.

Pedro J. Pizarro, Rosemead

The writer is president and chief executive of Edison International.

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To the editor: I’m mystified by the latest CPUC proposal regarding rooftop solar.

It’s a vast improvement from the previous one, but it still would have a substantial dampening effect on getting rooftop solar onto more roofs, an important factor in meeting the state’s climate-change goals.

I’m concerned by how the public might perceive this CPUC proposal. It gives one a strong reason to not trust government, especially unelected officials. It reflects poorly on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration.

The CPUC should urge utilities to make rooftop solar part of their capital-improvement budgets. Utilities should do this rather than developing remote solar and wind farms, which require building environmentally destructive transmission lines to population centers.

They could then lease these installations. This makes environmental and financial sense, and could result in massive savings for utilities related to transmission line maintenance and wildfire risk.

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Dennis Lees, Encinitas

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