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The Ones That Slipped Through

October 13, 2009

Although Schwarznegger did veto some bills, he signed some others. Of particular interest were SB 32 and AB 920, both of which would encourage the installation of renewable energy systems by consumers. From the LA Times:

SB 32, by state Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino), requires utilities to purchase solar electricity from facilities that produce up to three megawatts and could increase installations on unused spaces such as warehouse roofs. The old limit was 1.5 megawatts.

[…]

Under AB 920, the state Public Utilities Commission will set a rate for utilities to compensate customers whose solar or wind systems produce more power than they use in a year. Under California’s current law, customers are not paid for any surplus electricity they feed back into the grid.

Regulations that give consumers the flexibility to sell surplus energy back to utilities will encourage the installation of more renewable capability. They’re also just, well, fair. If a consumer produces more energy than they use, it shouldn’t go to waste and it shouldn’t be given free to the utility. They should get the benefit of their investment in a renewable system.

Of course, he also vetoed the bills (SB 14 and AB 64) that would have increased the state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 33% which would have had a much more significant effect on the installation of renewable energy capability. So he still blew it.

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