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Utility companies used to support solar-energy panels on the roofs of private homes, but so many roofs in California now generate so much power that the utilities are losing big money. They say homeowners who don’t have solar are paying the difference, and the Public Utilities Commission is considering proposals to make incentives for switching to solar less attractive than they are now. We consider whether there's war against solar power, and if solar-energy users are paying their fair share.

On our Reporter's Notebook, we hear about labor unions in Santa Monica that want some employers granted exemptions to an increased minimum wage.  

Photo: Workers install a residential solar power system at a home in Monrovia. (Saul Gonzalez)

Producers:
Christine Detz
Paul von Zielbauer

Is Solar Energy Too Cheap and Easy in California? 14 MIN, 6 SEC

California homeowners who install solar panels can sell power they don't use back to the utility companies who manage the grid. That can bring the homeowners' bills down to zero. Now, so many consumers have gone solar that the utilities are losing serious money and they're fighting back. We get background from KCRW's Saul Gonzalez, then hear about proposals to modify the status quo.

Guests:
Saul Gonzalez, KCRW producer (@SaulKCRW)
Mike Campbell, Office of Ratepayer Advocates
Severin Borenstein, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business (@borensteins)

Santa Monica City Council to Vote on Minimum Wage 10 MIN, 31 SEC

A full-page ad in the LA Times and a mobile billboard are just two of the more dramatic elements supporting labor in the campaign against a proposed increase to the minimum wage that the Santa Monica City Council will take up tonight.

Guests:
Matthew Hall, Santa Monica Daily Press (@smdailypress)
Gene Maddaus, Variety (@GeneMaddaus)

More:
Employment Policies Institute on impact of raising the minimum wage
Hall on the SM minimum wage proposal
Maddaus on LA City Council's Economic Development Committee's vote to hike minimum wage

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