California is staying strong on solar with the passage of Assembly Bill 327, authored by Assembly Member Henry Perea (D-Fresno). The legislation helps ensure that the rooftop solar industry can continue to grow and create jobs across California. In addition, AB 327 addresses several important residential electricity rate design issues.
According to The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC), AB 327 is a rare example of California’s Investor-Owned Utilities (IOU’s), the solar industry and rate payer advocates all supporting the same bill.
“This bill is the result of hands-on executive leadership from the nation’s most experienced Governor,” said Bryan Miller, co-Chair of TASC and Vice President of Public Policy and Power Markets for Sunrun. “Governor Brown has once again proven his ability to bring disparate sides together to benefit all Californians.”
Key elements of the Bill include directives that pave the way for uncapped net metering. Net metering is the cornerstone solar policy that gives solar customers full retail credit for the excess energy they put back on the grid.
“Passage of this legislation means more Californians will now have access to cleaner, cheaper, and better energy,” said John Stanton, co-Chair of TASC and Vice President of Policy and Electricity Markets for SolarCity. “And greater market stability creates the opportunity for more jobs across California’s rooftops.”
AB 327 will provide much-needed stability for the rooftop solar industry by preserving net metering and removing the ceiling on California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). To help grow solar energy in California, AB 327 will:
- Remove the current suspension on net metering that would go into effect at the end of this year.
- Eliminate uncertainly over how the current net metering cap is calculated.
- Provide a framework for removing the net metering cap altogether.
- Provide certainty that net metering customers’ investment expectations are respected.
- Remove the 33% ceiling on the state’s RPS. This means the 33% becomes a floor, not a ceiling.
Randy Bishop, a TASC member and CEO and co-Founder of Verengo, added, “AB 327 recognizes that net metering is smart policy and should continue in California without restrictions. With this bill, our state’s leaders are helping ensure all Californians have the choice of using clean solar energy. ”
After passing the Legislature on September 12, 2013, AB 327 moves to Governor Brown’s desk for its official signing.