If you are someone who follows what happens within our legislative bodies and are as passionate as we are about solar energy, you may be familiar with the California Solar Rights Bill, SB 288. This is an important bill for solar professionals and the community at large. The State Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Communications will hold a hearing within the next few months to determine if SB 288 will become law later this year. This bill is powerful as it would remove barriers to solar, including tariffs, slow interconnection to the utility grid, and protecting the rights of current, and future, solar owners.
What is the Solar Bill of Rights?
This legislation is considered a bipartisan bill that was introduced to defend the rights of home and business owners who wish to generate and store their own electricity. The bill calls for streamlined and standardized processes for customers looking to install residential or commercial solar panels and connect them to the grid. The bill would require that the Public Utilities Commission and Energy Commission to establish this process for electric corporations and local publicly owned electric utilities. Additionally, the bill would require the PUC and the Energy Commission to submit an annual report that shows utility performance in reviewing interconnection requests.
What Does SB 288 Promote?
The Solar Bill of Rights guarantees that each individual has a right to make and store solar energy on their property without interference from utility. It also ensures you have a right to connect your solar and storage to the grid quickly, without having to navigate extra red tape. It also ensures you have freedom from unfair fees that discriminate against you from having solar. Additionally, SB 288 will expand your ability to share any extra energy your solar panels produce, to the grid and get a fair credit in return.
This bill is important as many solar advocates believe that California utilities have gotten away with minimizing access to solar and solar storage. The Solar Rights Alliance stated, “California’s monopoly utilities are waging a multi-pronged attack on our individual rights and our ability to put solar on our homes, our businesses. At stake is our freedom to cut the cord to ever-rising energy bills, and generate and store clean energy when and how we see fit.”
This bill is set to be reviewed in early Spring 2019. It is endorsed by many professionals within the solar industry – from installers, manufacturers and solar finance companies. Large professional solar organizations, such as California Solar & Storage Association, are also full supporters – understanding the future of solar is on the line. For more ways you can become involved, or educated, reach out toe the Solar Rights Alliance.
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