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Letters to the Editor: Why utilities should thank solar customers for subsidizing them

Workers install solar panels on a home in Granada Hills on Jan. 4, 2020.
(Los Angeles Times)
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To the editor: Rooftop solar has the benefit of being in cities where people need the energy, reducing both transmission costs and the use of fossil energy. (“Don’t turn the lights out on California’s solar rooftop revolution,” editorial, April 7)

A recent Michigan Technological University study on the value provided by rooftop concluded, “Even when grid-tied solar owners are provided with a full net metered rate for electricity fed back onto the grid they are effectively subsidizing the electric utility/other customers.”

I live in a county at the very end of Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison lines, with little room for utility-scale projects. We rely on power lines through remote wildlands that are vulnerable to fires and floods, both of which we’ve had.

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We need more rooftop solar and storage to survive climate change. I’m alarmed by the recent moves by private utilities to devalue rooftop solar.

Katie Davis, Goleta

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To the editor: So, the California Public Utilities Commission is now proposing the reduction or elimination of credit for excessive electricity production sent back to the grid as a way of justifying past subsidies to rooftop solar customers.

The incentive was given specifically with the desire to address global warming and to clean up our air, the lion’s share of the cost for which has been borne by homeowners. Now, retroactively, the PUC wants to effectively take back the subsidy.

Sounds like a classic bait-and-switch to me.

Joe Grauman, Los Angeles

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