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Letters to the Editor: A $24 monthly fee for power? It’s time for solar users to go off grid

Electric transmission lines connecting to Southern California Edison's Vincent Substation in Palmdale are seen in 2021.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
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To the editor: The year was 2004. California had already passed net metering laws to encourage residents and businesses to install rooftop solar. I bit and plunked down tens of thousands of dollars for a system. My electric bill went to zero, and I was happy. (“Regulators approve sweeping change to the way most Californians are billed for electricity,” May 9)

Southern California Edison and other private utilities were not. So, they went to work, playing the long game.

They convinced the California Public Utilities Commission to gut net metering, so that they would not have to reimburse me at market rates for the excess electricity I put on the grid. They also got the CPUC to tack on a $10 grid connection fee.

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Governors and the Legislature have been complicit in this slow-motion bait and switch, because the utility lobbyists know how to do their jobs well. Of course the consumers are mad.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, drive around and look up at the roofs. You’ll see lots of solar panels up there. Every one of them represents a vote you won’t get if you have presidential aspirations.

And Edison, when battery technology reaches the point where I can go off-grid, you will be summoned to disconnect me from your system — at your expense.

Jon Rowe, Costa Mesa

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To the editor: As someone who chooses to live in a small apartment and get around by walking or biking, I have a lifestyle that is already more climate friendly than those who live in large houses and drive electric cars.

Why, then, am I being punished with a higher electric bill, with the addition of a $24 monthly charge, just so the more wasteful among us can have a lower bill?

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I don’t understand why the state regulators would pass something that so clearly makes life harder for the people causing the least climate impact.

Justin Johnson, Redondo Beach

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To the editor: After reading the entire article on the anger over the new flat monthly fee, I strongly feel we should throw out the rascals in Sacramento the next time they are up for election.

It is obvious that Newsom, most legislators and the CPUC commissioners serve the interests of the utility companies, not us.

Watana Charoenrath, Agoura Hills

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