Sacramento, California [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today signed AB 1714, which is designed to fix an unintended flaw in legislation passed last year hindering the California Solar Initiative (CSI). The program, administered by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), has been touted as the best in the country. But issues with Time of Use (TOU) rates have slowed applications for residential solar systems significantly.
According to the CPUC, applications are down 78 percent in the first three months of the program compared with this time last year.
Introduced by Assemblymember Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys) and Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego), AB 1714 allows the CPUC to temporarily change the rate structure for solar systems installed since January 1, 2007. The legislation will take effect immediately and will also allow the CPUC to offer rebates or credits to ratepayers impacted by the current rate structure.
“I am very pleased the Legislature was able to act so quickly to strengthen this important program that will greatly expand solar energy in California. By expanding its use in homes and businesses across our state, we can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions while bringing more jobs to California.” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “This legislation will result in lower rates for solar customers and will help us work to maximize Californians’ participation in the program.”
To expedite the passage of this urgency legislation, Governor Schwarzenegger worked with a bipartisan group of legislators including Assemblymembers Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys), Bonnie Garcia (R-Cathedral City), John Benoit (R-Palm Desert) and Senators Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego), Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga) and Jim Battin (R-La Quinta). The Governor has also worked with utilities, environmental groups and other stakeholders to craft the agreement.