California Solar CitiSuns, nominally based in Sacramento, is a community-based 501c4 organization founded in February that has grown to about 600 members from across the state. The group is targeting as members the estimated 350,000 people, businesses and organizations that have installed PV, as well as the estimated 175,000 hosts of solar hot water systems. Similarly, renters who might gain solar through virtual net metering are potential beneficiaries of the organization. Membership is free.
The organization mandate reads: “We are the voice for the solar consumer focused on defending and supporting pro-solar policies in California. We are independent, meaning we don’t affiliate or support any particular political party…Hundreds of thousands of voices of real people have the ability to drown out the millions of dollars monopolies spend lobbying in Sacramento – but only if we work together. California Solar CitiSuns provides an opportunity for solar consumers to unite and let our state’s elected officials know why pro-solar policies are important to consumers, to our community, and to our future.”
Solar CitiSuns board member Randy Zechman is also the CEO of San Jose-based installer Clean Solar, and is the Bay Area CALSEIA chapter president. In an LA Times OpEd, Zechman wrote that “We do not believe the (utilities) will stop with their continued efforts to stunt rooftop solar energy. The utilities have been aggressive and have found some success to prevent consumer choice in other states. We, in California, will not become complacent.”
Among other services, the organization explains the impact and significance of pending solar legislation, and offers a variety of basic information on solar power on its website, solarcitisuns.org. When particular counties or cities are under counter-solar legislative siege – the website now identifies Modesto and Imperial Counties as such – the organization calls for member action and other support.
Similar pro-consumer solar organizations have been formed in Colorado and in Australia with similar mandates.