Update 8 Feb 2019: By a vote of 11-0 The Solar Bill of Rights (SB-288) was advanced out of the Senate Committee on Energy, Utility and Communications. SB-288 will now be sent to the Senate Appropriations committee. This vote was the first of many we must win to protect the rights of solar system owners in California. According to the Solar Rights Alliance:
the vote was a BIG milestone — and it’s all because of you and thousands of fellow solar users who exercised your rights as a citizenSolar Rights Alliance
Your help is needed: There are upcoming votes on SB-288. Lobbyists from the utility companies are in Sacramento, making their voices heard. Your voice is needed in Sacramento now more than ever. To join the fight to protect the rights of solar system owners in California, join the Solar Rights Alliance.
On Wednesday, April the 10th bill SB 288 The Solar Bill of Rights will have a hearing in the state Senate committee on Energy, Utility and Communications. This bill is intended to stop utility companies from robbing home solar system owners of the saving that their systems generate. This bill is urgently needed. Utilities such as San Diego Gas and Electric, Pacific Gas and Electric, and The Sacramento Municipal Utility District have all raised rates and imposed new fees on home solar system owners that have significantly eroded their savings. SB 288 if passed, will reverse those unfair rate increases and protect the rights of all Californians to generate and sell for a fair rate the electricity from their solar systems.
What’s in The Solar Bill of Rights
Utilities can’t impose unfair fees. Currently, utilities are able to levy extra fees on solar system owners. SB 288 would end that practice. It would reverse unfair fees that currently exist and prevent new fees that disadvantage ownership of solar power from being imposed on solar system owners.
Faster connection to the grid. Utilities would be required to follow a state-mandated process for connecting solar systems to the grid. The process would be streamlined to enable faster issuance of Permission to Operate (PTO).
Fair compensation. People with home batteries would be fairly compensated for energy sent to the grid from their batteries. Home batteries are an important part of ensuring a safe continuous flow of power after the sun goes down.
How SB 288 will implement these reforms
June 1st, 2020. The California Public Utilities Commission would begin submitting reports on how well each utility performed in the timely connection of new solar power arrays to the grid.
January 1st, 2021. The California Energy Commission would create compensation structures to incentivize home battery owners to sell stored power to the grid.
No timeline. The timeline for creating the new faster process for PTO inspection has not been established as of this writing (4 April 2019).
What you can do to help SB 288 pass
If you live in a district that has a state senator serving on the Senate Committee on Energy, Utility and Communications, you can make a difference! All you need to do is call that senator’s office and leave a message that you support SB 288.
Find out if you live in a district served by one of the Senators on the Senate Committee on Energy, Utility and Communications: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov
Here’s a simple message you can leave when you call. You can even call after hours and just leave a message:
Hello, I’m [Give your name] I’m a constituent. I live at [give your address] I’m calling today to ask you to support SB 288, The Solar Bill of Rights. Home solar system owners play an important part in helping California achieve it’s renewable energy goals. Monopoly utility companies have been eroding home solar owners energy savings for years. It’s not fair and it’s harming our ability to achieve the state’s goals. SB 288 would ensure that home solar system owners are compensated fairly for the power they produce. Thank you for your time, I appreciate you taking my call.
The following state senators sit on the committee:
- Ben Hueso (40th District) Serves cities of Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, National City and portions of the City of San Diego and Imperial County.
- John M. Moorlach (37th District) Serves Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Irvine, Silverado, Lake Forest Laguna Beach, and other parts of southern Orange County
- Steven Bradford (35th District) Serves Los Angeles County communities of Carson, Compton, West Compton, Gardena, Harbor City, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox, West Carson, Watts, Willowbrook, and Wilmington.
- Ling Ling Chan (29th District) Serves parts of Anaheim, Stante4n, Cypress, Buena Park, Fullerton, Placentia, Yorba Linda, Brea, La Habra, Rowland Heights, Sleepy Hollow, Chino Hills, Diamond Bar, and Walnut
- Bill Dodd (3rd District) Serves the cities of Martinez and Pleasant Hill in Contra Costa County; American Canyon, Calistoga, Napa, Yountville, and St. Helena in Napa County; Benicia, Dixon, Fairfield, Rio Vista, Suisun City, Vacaville, and Vallejo, in Solano County; Cotati, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, and Sonoma in Sonoma County; Davis, Winters, and Woodland in Yolo County; as well as Isleton in Sacramento County.
- Robert Herzberg (18th District) Serves Universal City, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, Sun Valley, Northridge, Granada Hills, San Fernando, Sylmar, Lake View Terrace.
- Jerry Hill (13th District) Serves San Mateo County south of SD 11 and northern Santa Clara County, including the sister cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale.
- Mark McGuire (2nd District) Serves Northern San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Eureka, Crescent City, parts of Redding
- Susan Rubio (22nd District) cities and communities of the San Gabriel Valley, which include: Alhambra, Monterey Park, San Gabriel, South San Gabriel, Rosemead, El Monte, South El Monte, Baldwin Park, Irwindale, Industry, Avocado Heights, La Puente, Valinda, West Covina, Vincent, Azusa, Citrus, Covina, Temple City, Arcadia and surrounding neighborhoods.
- Nancy Skinner (9th District) Serves cities in Contra Costa and Alameda counties along the 880 corridor, a major urban thoroughfare for commuter traffic and for commercial freight through the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport. Anchor communities include Richmond, Berkeley, Oakland, and San Leandro
- Henry Stern (27th District) Serves Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Malibu, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, part of Santa Clarita and the following Los Angeles communities: Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Encino, Porter Ranch, Reseda, Lake Balboa, Tarzana, West Hills, Winnetka, and Woodland Hills.
- Jeff Stone (28th District) Serves Temecula Valley to the Colorado River and includes the cities of Blythe, Canyon Lake, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, Lake Elsinore, La Quinta, Murrieta, Temecula, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Wildomar.
- Scott Weiner (11th District) Serves all of the city and county of San Francisco, Broadmoor, Colma, Daly City, as well as part of South San Francisco.