August 25, 2015 – Sacramento, CA – On August 18, 2015, a group of Clean Solar employees, alongside 200 other solar employees representing over 60 companies in the California solar industry, spent the day at the State Capitol in Sacramento for Solar Worker Lobby Day 2015. Three pieces of legislation were being discussed: Net Energy Metering (NEM), the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), and solar for low-income renters, which all affect the solar industry in California and its workers. Solar workers marched to the Capitol to educate Sacramento legislators that the fast-growing solar industry must not be slowed down by these three pieces of legislation or California’s solar jobs could be at stake.
Northern California utility PG&E has proposed to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) a number of items. One proposition is for a wholesale rate structure for NEM, resulting in a 70% reduction of how much PG&E pays for the overproduced power by truing up electricity bills monthly instead of annually. Customers could no longer “roll-over” retail credits for 12 months. PG&E also advocates for a mandatory monthly charge for solar customers based on system size.
- Secure Net Energy Metering (NEM) and market confidence for rooftop solar. Support from state legislature is mandatory to ensure that the solar industry continues to thrive throughout California as well as leverage private investments. Rooftop solar needs the certainty of a secured NEM program through 2030. Assembly Bill 327 requires the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to support rooftop solar “growth sustainably” with tools that fully value distributed generation. Public utilities recently proposed changes to the existing NEM program that would severely handicap the entire solar industry in California.
- Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) Extension. Bi-partisan resolution (SJR 10) requests that Congress pass (extend) the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit for solar that currently remains in effect through December 31, 2016. This will send a clear message to Washington DC that regardless of politics, Californians want to see solar grow.
- Solar for low-income renters. Passing Assembly Bill 693, will create a $1 billion fund to reduce energy bills for low-income renters through solar.
CALSEIA’s Bay Area Chapter President and Clean Solar CEO, Randy Zechman, attended the event alongside Clean Solar employees from the Sales and Marketing departments. Solar workers from throughout the state united and wore yellow “Solar Created My Job/Keep Solar Jobs Growing” t-shirts. Fifteen groups were formed and assigned to each meet with 5 to 7 legislators throughout the day to address the three primary pieces of legislation. Groups were organized by where workers lived or worked so they would fall within their assigned legislator’s district. Cumulatively, solar employees met with over 90 legislative offices and spoke to legislators themselves and their staff about the importance of the solar industry and how it created each of their jobs.
With the uncertainty the solar industry faces with the proposed legislation, the ITC expiration and proposed NEM changes, solar jobs are at stake. The solar industry has created more than 54,000 jobs in California, that’s more than the state’s five largest utilities combined. Everyone at Clean Solar is an employee of the company. Clean Solar reported 237% workforce growth from 2011 to 2014 as reported on the national annual ranking of the Inc. 5000, 2015’s fastest growing private companies.
Since the 1970s, CALSEIA (California Solar Energy Industries Association) has advanced the common interests of the California solar industry, helping make California’s solar market the most robust in the United States. Comprised of California solar contractors, manufacturers, distributors, developers, utilities, engineers, consultants and educational organizations, CALSEIA represents a diverse membership committed to growing the California solar industry. For more information about CALSEIA, visit www.calseia.org.
The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) leads the rooftop solar advocacy across the country. Founded by the largest rooftop companies in the nation, TASC represents the vast majority of the market. Its members include: Demeter Power, Silevo, SolarCity, Solar Universe, Sunrun, Verengo, and ZEP Solar. Visit www.allianceforsolarchoice.com.
About Clean Solar
Clean Solar continues to be at the forefront of exceptional customer service in an effort to change the way homeowners look at solar. Clean Solar is the Bay Area’s leading residential and commercial solar installation company. Home and business owners receive comprehensive, custom solar solutions to meet their specific electricity needs. Along with custom solutions, Clean Solar also offers many financial options including PACE and $0 down solar leases. They are top rated on review sites like Yelp and Angie’s List and have numerous awards as the Best Bay Area Solar Installer. Clean Solar is headquartered in San Jose, California, and was founded by Randy Zechman and Jeff Ritchey in 2007. For information about Clean Solar, visit www.CleanSolar.com.
For more information, please contact:
Leslie Gaynor – Director, Marketing
Devraj Grewal – Marketing Coordinator