California Governor Signs an Array of Renewable Energy Bills
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced on Monday that he has signed eight bills that expand California's commitment to increase renewable energy use. Five of those bills specifically support solar energy projects.
Schwarzenegger put his signature on the following assembly (AB) and senate bills (SB) that:
- Build on the state's solar power usage by continuing a property tax exclusion for projects that utilize solar panel energy and by expanding the exclusion to builder-installed solar energy systems in new homes. The original property tax exclusion was passed by voters in 1980. (AB 1451)
- Require the California Public Utilities Commission to grant incentives to eligible California technology manufacturers. This bill also requires the California Energy Commission to give priority to California-based companies when granting awards. (AB 2267)
- Authorize local governments to receive a utility bill credit for surplus renewable electricity generated at one site against the electricity consumption at other sites. (AB 2466)
- Authorize the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority to enter into power purchase agreements with public and private entities for the purchase and sale of alternative source energy. (SB 1754)
- Allow for purchase agreements in residential solar power generation. It also designates companies that sell solar electricity generated at the location where it is used as independent solar energy producers. (AB 2863)
- Maximize the incentive for ratepayers to install solar energy systems. This bill gives solar energy customers the option to use time-variant pricing tariffs through the authority of the California Public Utilities Commission. (AB 2768)
- Require homeowners associations to respond to a request from a member to install a solar energy system within 60 days. (AB 2180)
- Require the California Public Utilities Commission to grant extensions on the time frame after a school district or community college has applied for a rebate under the California Solar Initiative. The public utilities commission may grant a maximum of three 180-day extensions for a total of 540 days. (AB 2804)
"As we strive to meet our long-term renewable energy and climate change goals, California is leading the way in harnessing resources and creating innovative projects to help us get there," Schwarzenegger said. "By providing incentives for all Californians, we are promoting the growth of clean, renewable energy in our cities and on our farmlands. This legislation will benefit our state by creating jobs, protecting the environment, and continuing to build a greener economy for all."
For more information, see the governor's September 28 press release.
To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in California, see:
- California news published on the EERE Web site.
- Brief project descriptions from the California Energy Office published in the EERE State Energy Program newsletter, Conservation Update.
- California publications listed in the EERE State Publications Database.