BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A group rallied in downtown Bakersfield Thursday morning against a proposed policy that could make solar panels more expensive.

Organization ‘Save California Solar’ protested outside PG&E in downtown Bakersfield, arguing a proposal by the California Public Utilities Commission could make it too pricy for most families to install solar panels

“The fee is $300 to $700 per year for a typical solar user who’s looking at it,” said Carter Lavin, of the California Solar and Storage Association. “Basically doubling the cost of going solar.”

If implemented, the CPUC would add monthly fees for solar panels, on top of existing fees to utility companies to maintain the power grid. The proposal also would sharply reduce the amount of money utility companies are mandated to pay solar panel customers for sending extra energy back to the grid.

“If you look at the math, it wouldn’t make sense to go solar in California, which is absurd,” Lavin said.

Demonstrators knocked on PG&E’s door holding a petition urging the company to stop supporting measures that could make solar power more expensive.

Meantime a coalition called ‘Affordable Clean Energy for All’ represents utility companies like PG&E. This group says solar panel customers shouldn’t get so much money for sending energy to the grid, because solar panels already reduce bills.

“The cost that we pay in our utility bills are for running the electrical grid, maintaining the electrical grid. If you’re paying $5 or $10 a month, you’re not covering those costs,” Kathy Fairbanks, a spokesperson for Affordable Clean Energy for All, said. “That’s great if you own a solar panel on your home, but those costs don’t go away. They have to be shifted to people who don’t own solar panels.”

Fairbanks says solar energy subsidies force low-income families, who likely don’t own homes or solar panels, to pay more than their fair share.

“People who don’t have solar are paying $240 more every year in their utility bills to cover the cost of people with roof top solar,” Fairbanks said.