Sacramento – Over the past few days, the California State Legislature has made it easier for more Californians to participate in the state’s clean energy transformation, passing bills to expand solar hot water heaters to community pools, to cap permitting fees for solar systems and to enable aggregate net metering by farmers, schools and other customers with multiple meters.
“These decisions not only reinforce the state’s solar commitment, but also take California several steps closer to achieving its renewable energy goals,” said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate for Environment California. “If California is to remain the country’s clean energy leader, California policy makers must continue to support smart policies, to give all Californians the right to invest in solar power.”
In a 22-12 vote earlier this week, the Senate passed Senate Bill 1222 (Leno, D-San Francisco), and it’s on its way to the Governor’s desk for signing. This bill will reform the permitting system for solar installations by creating a cap on permitting fees. This is critical to supporting the growth of the solar industry, bringing increased economic development, additional jobs and environmental benefits to California.
Yesterday, the Assembly passed Assembly Bill 2249 (Buchanan, D-San Ramon), joining SB 1222 on its way to the Governor’s desk for signing. This bill will make much needed changes to the Solar Water Heating and Efficiency Act of 2007 by allowing the incentive to extend to commercial pools. It will remove up-front cost barriers that currently prevent municipalities, schools and non-profits from going solar, allow schools and non-profits to lower pool heating costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Also yesterday, the Assembly passed Senate Bill 594 (Wolk, D-Davis and Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo), and it heads to the Senate for concurrence today. This bill will allow customers, such as farmer and schools, who have multiple electricity meters on their property to effectively participate in the state’s successful net energy metering program. SB 843 has attracted a lengthy and diverse group of supporters, including the California Public Utilities Commission, agricultural associations, school associations, solar industry representatives and environmental organizations, all of whom look forward to California expanding its strong solar foundation.
“Thanks to these votes, Californians can look forward to more homes, farms, businesses and community pools generating clean solar power, all across the state, bringing clean air, more jobs and a more stable electricity grid,” concluded Kinman.
Environment California is a statewide, nonprofit environmental advocacy organization.