What is California's Solar Bill of Rights? Here's Everything You Need to Know | Solar.com

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What is California’s Solar Bill of Rights? Here’s Everything You Need to Know


California state leaders keep proving again and again that the Golden State is the best state for solar and clean energy innovation.

First, state regulators required all new homes built in 2020 onward to have solar panels. Then, former Governor Brown signed SB-100, setting the state’s clean energy goal to 100% by 2045.

Now, a new bipartisan bill has been proposed by State Senators Scott Wiener (D – San Francisco) and Jim Nielsen (R – Fresno): S-288 – the Solar Bill of Rights.

This “Solar Bill of Rights” is as great as it sounds.

There are 3 big ways this would be a game-changer for residential and commercial solar in California:

  1. No unfair fees. Solar owners would be guaranteed fundamental rights to self-generate and store renewable energy without discriminatory utility fees.
  2. Faster processing. All California utilities would be required to follow a state-mandated, streamlined process for connecting new solar arrays to the grid.
  3. Better compensation. Home batteries (like Tesla’s Powerwall) would receive fair compensation from the utility for exporting power to the grid and improving community resiliency.

These developments would be implemented and enforced by the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission. If passed, the implementation timeline is as follows:

  • June 1, 2020: The commission begins submitting annual reports on each utility performance connecting new solar and battery systems to their grid.
  • January 1, 2021: The commission creates the compensation structures where home battery owners are incentivized to export stored electricity to the grid.

There did not appear to be a clear timeline for when a new, streamlined process for interconnection (also known as Permission To Operate or PTO) requests would be implemented.

Watch the California Senate Democrats live stream of SB288’s announcement:

In the announcement event, State Senator Weiner remarked:

“No matter where in California you live, no what matter your income, no matter what the quality of the air that you breathe – you should be able to save money and help save the planet by using solar, energy storage, and other ground-breaking clean energy technologies at home and at your place of work.”

As the homeowners advocate in what can often be a confusing market, the team at Solar.com is excited by this news and the direction California is moving to champion home solar adoption.

Our CEO, Max Aram, notes:

“Instead of the status quo of utilities reluctantly accepting energy innovations, this bill would standardize, streamline, and incentivize a much greater adoption of clean technologies. The benefit? More consumer savings, better community resilience, and a cleaner environment.”

This bill is backed by a strong coalition of solar, environmental justice, and consumer advocacy groups, including the California Solar and Storage Association (CALSSA), which Solar.com is a member too.

Let’s keep up the good work, California! We’ll be tracking this bill closely.

If you’re located in the Golden State (like we are), it’s clearly a great time to start exploring your solar options. Solar.com platform will provide you with:

  1. An online experience to go solar
  2. Multiple, competing quotes from approved installers
  3. A dedicated, unbiased expert to help answer your questions.

Take a look and get started here with us. If the Solar Rights Bill becomes law by the time you go solar, all the better.

Cover image credit: California Senate Democrats, YouTube

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