Latinos 20% of California Solar Workforce, Benefit from “Clean Energy Jobs Boom”
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Latino Victory Project (LVP) sent a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today declaring its support for solar net metering.
Latino Victory, co-founded by Eva Longoria and Henry R. Muñoz III, is an ambitious, non-partisan effort to ensure the voices of Latinos are reflected at every level of government. The Latino Victory PAC supports Latino candidates across the country and engages Latino voters and donors to support Latino leaders in order to elevate and advance American values.
The filing is a response to actions by the state’s investor-owned utilities proposing to make California the first major solar state to abandon net metering, a cornerstone policy of every successful solar industry across the country. The utility proposals would put future customers’ ability to go solar at risk. The CPUC will likely determine the fate of net metering in California by December 31, 2015.
The letter noted that 65 percent of Latino voters are either very or extremely concerned about climate change and 74 percent of Latino voters believe it is very or extremely important for California to develop renewable energy sources, including solar.
“The reason for this [strong support] is because our community stands to suffer most from the effects of climate change,” wrote Cristóbal J. Alex, the President of the Latino Victory Project, noting that 39 percent of Latinos live within 30 miles of a power plant. “We also stand to benefit most in the event of a clean energy jobs boom.”
“California Latino communities benefit from rooftop solar and net metering.” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, Executive Director of CALSEIA, noting that 20 percent of the state’s solar workforce is Latino. “The benefits of clean air and good green jobs simply won’t happen throughout Latino communities without net metering. Rooftop solar is local and that means the benefits are local.”
Net metering is a program that credits solar consumers for the surplus electricity they export to the grid. The program has helped fuel the transformational growth of solar across the state. Before the end of this year, the CPUC will decide on the future of net metering, including options proposed by the three investor owned utilities, PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E, all of which include fees and rates designed to make solar uneconomical. Solar advocates are protesting these changes and are highlighting the conflict of interest inherent in monopoly utilities trying to squash competition to protect profits.
LVP’s letter is among dozens being submitted to the CPUC on their impending net metering decision. In sending a strongly worded letter in support of net metering for solar, LVP joins with other diverse voices calling for protecting rooftop solar, including affordable housing advocates, prominent Central Valley farmers and agricultural organizations, over 75 local elected officials, environmental justice organizations, and businesses across the state.