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Advocacy Alert: Leave Room for Trees in New Developments

Speak for the Trees

February 18, 2020

Recent legislation is making it harder to plant trees. You can help - find out how:

The problem

A new state law requires all new homes to have rooftop solar, and while solar is a great option as a clean energy source, solar panels can conflict with urban trees.

Trees cannot be planted in spots that will shade solar panels. This region is already losing mature trees to make room for new developments, and we are also losing opportunities to plant new trees due to smaller yards where concrete and utilities don't leave room for trees to grow. This new law makes it even harder to find plantable space.

Neighborhoods that are deprived of ample tree coverage are deprived of everything a neighborhood should have: safety, comfort, and vitality.

The solution

Instead of requiring that each new home have solar panels, owners of these new homes should be able to opt into SolarShares, a voluntary program that gives them the option to have SMUD install and manage a community solar system.

SolarShares will give new homeowners a choice to continue Sacramento's legacy of tall, beautiful trees shading their homes.

Meeting the solar system requirement at another site, such as the rooftops of commercial buildings, offers a lower-cost option for new homeowners while saving places to plant trees. Strategically placed shade trees are some of the best tools we have to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels and address climate change at the local level.

How you can help

The Energy Commission wants to know why you support SolarShares. Please mention any specific projects or reasons why you or your organization supports this concept. 

Thursday 2/20 1pm 
California Energy Commission 
Art Rosenfeld Hearing Room, First Floor

Make a public comment

In-person testimony and letters of support are preferred. Speakers are limited to 3 minutes but may be asked to limit statements to 1 minute. 

Phone in

Call (888) 823-5065 

  • Passcode: Business Meeting
  • Tell the operator you're calling regarding Agenda Item #11, Docket #19-BSTD-08          


For questions, please contact Ray Tretheway at (916) 974-4301 or ray@sactree.com.