CAUSE: Californians Against Utilities Stopping Solar
The rooftop solar energy industry's consumer base is growing and their standing on Wall Street is seeing concomitant ascendency. Indeed, Rooftop solar energy has become one of the linchpins of the "Green Economy."
The rooftop solar industry's success has private utility companies concerned about the threat to their market share and long-term profitability. As a result, utilities across the nation have pointed a sharp arrow at the heart of the solar industry's mainstay public policy Net Energy Metering, (NEM.)
In California in 2014, the solar industry prepared for trench warfare in the CA State legislature over NEM policy.
The solar industry enlisted Centaur North to help advocate on behalf of the industry, Net Metering and lower consumer costs for energy. Centaur helped communications strategies to move opinions among stakeholders. Centaur created and organized Californians Against Utilities Stopping Solar or CAUSE to play point. CAUSE was chaired by physicians Dr. Luis Pacheco and Dr. Deonza Thymes. Together, we worked to inform community stakeholders and advocates across California that attacking NEM was a threat to a healthy and prosperous future for California's middle and working class families.
Centaur North and CAUSE put together a a powerful statewide coalition of advocates. As a result, the utility industry dropped plans to attack NEM directly. The utilities moved their sights on attaching an inflated fixed rate on the monthly utility bill of all CA consumers by inserting bellicose language into rate reform legislation AB 327.
Centaur North and CAUSE took action and organized a statewide coalition to fight the fixed rate increase. Again, the utilities lost and the fixed rate provision was amended, so the Public Utility Commission would be the decision making body. That was favorable as the PUC is much more consumer friendly than the legislature. Additionally, we were able to increase the benchmark for CA's sustainable energy portfolio from a 30% ceiling to a 30% floor. That's success!