California Environmental Justice Alliance

Building Healthy Communities from the Ground up

EJ Organizations Issue Statement on Rooftop Solar and Distributed Generation in California

Sept 20 2021 – Today, a group of social justice and environmental justice organizations including the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA), Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), Environmental Health Coalition, Greenlining, and Leadership Counsel for Justice & Accountability (LCJA) released a statement responding to the ongoing net energy metering debate in California. As low income and communities of color  face an affordability crisis, rising rates, major utility debt, economic insecurity, and ongoing power outages, the group released the following statement.

In an excerpt from the statement, advocates provided the following quote:

“In the face of intensifying climate impacts and the need for rapid decarbonization, Net Energy Metering (NEM) policies  have supported tremendous growth of distributed solar resources, making California a national leader and helping to  dramatically improve the economics of distributed generation and rooftop solar.  Due to the intersectional impacts of redlining, California’s inequitable energy policies, and ongoing oppression, however, environmental justice (EJ) communities have experienced structural barriers in accessing and benefiting from NEM. Data shows that NEM disproportionately benefits wealthier, white, single-family homeowners. By its very design, NEM has not enabled rooftop solar to adequately penetrate EJ communities. Despite representing 25% of the State’s population, only 11-12% of households on NEM rates live in California’s disadvantaged communities (DACs).”

Download the statement here.