Utility Tax Action Toolkit
Last year, the Legislature passed a new law (AB 205) which includes a provision that requires PG&E, SCE, SDG&E, and CCAs to charge all ratepayers a new Utility Tax. This Utility Tax is completely uncapped, with unlimited potential to grow. AB 205 was passed without any public hearings or discussion.
Now, the utilities and some other organizations are proposing to charge all ratepayers the highest Utility Tax in the country: between $400 and $1,500 per year depending on household income.
These proposals will INCREASE utility bills on millions of working and middle class people who live in apartments and smaller homes that use lower than average electricity. The Utility Tax It will also remove the incentive for people to reduce their energy bill through conservation efforts, energy efficiency, or solar panels.
The Legislature created this mess, and now they need to fix it by repealing the Utility Tax provision in AB 205: Public Utilities Code Section 739.9.
Here’s what you can do to help:
State legislators created this mess, and now they need to be educated about the negative consequences of their decision, and pressured to step in and repeal their Utility Tax.
1) Call your state Assemblymember and Senator and tell them to repeal the Utility Tax.
It is possible your lawmakers voted for AB 205 without understanding the consequences. Educate them about what is being proposed and how it would harm millions of people. You can look up their phone number here.
Here’s a suggested message. Feel free to modify it:
Hello, my name is _____. I live in _____. I am asking you to repeal the Utility Tax provision in AB 205. The Utility Tax will increase electricity bills on millions of working and middle class households. The Utility Tax will also discourage all forms of energy conservation. Since the Legislature voted for the Utility Tax, the Legislature needs to fix this mess. Will you support a repeal of the Utility Tax? Thank you.
2) Spread the word.
Here’s a suggested social media post to Nextdoor, Facebook, or your preferred social media platform. Feel free to modify it:
I just learned that the state Legislature passed a new Utility Tax that could be between $400 and $1,500 per year just for being hooked up to the grid. Analysts say this will increase utility bills on people who live in apartments, condos, and smaller homes that don’t use a lot of energy, and also discourage energy conservation, efficiency, and solar panels. Seems like a big giveaway to the utilities! I suggest people call their state assemblymember and senator to repeal the Utility Tax. Look up your Legislators’ phone numbers here: https://secure.everyaction.com/p/pZuWrrAYOE2Kz-cprcREgQ2
Here’s some tips for writing Letters to the Editor:
- Your letter should be 150 words.
- Reference the Utility Tax proposals that will increase electricity bills for millions of working people, discourage conservation, and undermine rooftop solar.
- Then write, in your own words, why you think the Utility Tax should be stopped.
- Statistics are good, not required, and use only one. Here’s a fact sheet with info.
- Make it personal. Use plain language, from the heart.
- Here are directions for submitting letters to most of the state’s major newspapers.
3) Meet with your state legislators.
Your lawmakers need to hear from you to learn about how a high Utility Tax would harm millions of people. Many legislators have local open houses or town hall events where you can speak with them directly about issues like this. You can look up their contact information here, and get on their mailing list to get a heads up about local events they’ll be attending.
- Here are some suggested talking points for conversations with your legislators.
- Please email info@SolarRights.org if you’re interested in going to a local legislator’s event so that we can see if we can get a few local residents to join you.
- If you’d like additional training or support, holler at info@SolarRights.org.
4) Ask organizations you know to join the opposition letter.
Consider contacting local organizations in your community that might be affected and asking them to join this open letter to state legislators calling on them to repeal the Utility Tax. We can arrange for an expert to make a presentation to local clubs and committees, and we can also help you do the same. Contact info@solarrights if you want more help and guidance.
More Information and Resources: