Community Solar Bill dies in CaliforniaSeptember 5, 2012
Community Solar Bill put to rest after intense lobbying
California’s ambitious Community Solar Bill (SB 843) has been dismantled by a state Assembly Committee. The legislation was put to rest late last week after alleged lobbying sessions from Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison. The Community Solar Bill was expected to bring significant benefits to the state’s solar energy industry and help more residents make use of the power. The legislation’s failure is being considered as a major blow against the state’s solar energy industry by alternative energy advocates.
Legislation would have boosted the accessibility of solar energy
The Community Solar Bill aimed to bring 2 gigawatts of electricity to the state by facilitating the development of new solar energy systems that would be installed on public land. The legislation would have enabled California residents to pool their buying power and purchase energy from shared solar energy programs and well as other alternative energy systems. One of the most significant aspects of the Community Solar Bill was that it would have brought solar energy to California renters, who account for roughly 44% of the state’s population.
Financial implications of bill considered positive for consumers
Consumers would have been able to sign contracts with solar energy companies that would allow them to attain electricity from solar power systems. The Community Solar Bill would have provided these consumers with credit for the amount of energy they received through renewable sources. This credit would have been applied to their utilities bill, lowering the amount of money they would have to pay for electricity. The Community Solar Bill was considered the next step in making solar energy available for consumers.
Utilities show opposition to Community Solar Bill
Utilities companies objected to the bill because of the impact it would have on their businesses. These companies argue that allowing consumers to make use of energy systems that zero-out their utility bills promotes instability within the energy market. Potentially, some consumers could exploit the system to attain electricity without having to pay for it in any way. As such, the financial implications of such practices could be harmful to the state.
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