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Bill to Establish Statewide “Community Solar and Storage Program” Introduced by Assemblymember Ward

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO,CA) – California has made significant strides to move toward green energy solutions to fight climate change and achieve our 100% clean energy goal with over 20% of the state’s generation coming from solar. Utility-scale and rooftop solar must continue to play an essential role in California’s renewable energy leadership, however many home and business owners are still unable to access the benefits of solar technology due to the cost of investment, limited space or structural challenges. Roughly 45% of California households are renters who can’t install a solar system. Assemblymember Chris Ward has introduced AB 2316 to help close this gap by establishing a statewide “community solar and storage” program. 

“This bill will significantly expand Californians’ opportunity to access solar energy, providing a green alternative that will also save participating customer’s money on their monthly energy bills,” said Assemblymember Ward (D-San Diego). “AB 2316 will also increase the reliability of solar energy by ensuring clean energy is sent to the electrical grid at peak hours when it is most needed.”

Community solar projects are smaller-scale where multiple customers can subscribe and receive a credit on their utility bill for their share of the power that is produced, just as if the panels were on their own roof. Californians who live in areas covered by privately-owned utilities like San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, or Pacific Gas & Electric would be eligible for the program. Ratepayers can choose to subscribe or decline to enroll, with financial incentives being available for low-income customers. Subscribers would be compensated based on the value of the renewable energy resource.

“The legislation introduced today would create the opportunity for energy customers to save money on their energy bills while supporting the development of cost-effective community solar plus storage systems in California,” said Charlie Coggeshall, Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs for the Coalition for Community Solar Access. “It would provide renters and other customers unable to install a solar system, including those in underserved communities, with a long-overdue option to directly benefit from solar energy, and would also give builders access to alternative means for meeting the state's ambitious energy code requirements."