Green Advocates Hot Over PG&E Solar Bill Opposition

Going solar too popular for the utility?

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Will rebates for too many solar customers put a burden on traditional electricity users?

    PG&E is drawing criticism from green energy advocates after the utility announced its opposition to two state bills aimed at promoting solar power.

    The two bills working their way through the State Assembly would enhance cash incentives to customers who switch to solar power.

    PG&E says the measures would be unfair to customers not using solar power who must subsidize rebates and credits paid to solar power customers.

    Some supporters of the bills say the utility's real worry is that it will lose money selling less energy to solar customers.

    Equipment/Fee Upgrade

    Another move by the utility to charge customers for equipment upgrades is getting a second look by a San Francisco lawmaker.

    Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, sent a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission, asking it to investigate PG&E's performance before approving a $2 billion equipment upgrade project.

    The project was introduced to the commission last year and would charge customers between a penny and a $1 every month for seven years to replace various equipment, such as fuses and feed line, over PG&E's 70,000-mile service area, PG&E spokesman Joe Molica said. It would  essentially improve service, Molica said.

    The program has to be approved by the commission before the company proceeds, he said.

    However, Leno's letter states that the improvements "would do virtually nothing to prevent the types of outages that have plagued San Francisco."

    He wrote that the company's service in the city has been the worst it has been in the past 10 years.