Ensuring Clean Energy for All: Ward Bill to Establish Community Solar and Storage Program Heads to Senate

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO,CA) – Today, more than 20% of California’s energy generation comes from solar with the Golden State ranked the highest in the nation in solar power generating. Utility-scale and rooftop solar must continue to play an essential role in California’s renewable energy leadership, but a sizable portion of Californians are still unable to access the benefits of the technology. Today, Assembly Bill 2316 to establish a statewide community and solar storage program passed the Assembly Floor and now heads to the State Senate for action.

“California is both the nation's leading renewable-energy proponent and one of the few states to actually set ambitious green energy goals to fight climate change.” said Assemblymember Ward (D-San Diego). “But we can’t achieve our clean energy goals while leaving half the state behind, including renters. AB 2316 will ensure we expand solar technology to more people while continuing to move toward our 100% clean energy goal.”

Many home and business owners are unable to install solar panels due to the cost or structural challenges, such as neighboring buildings or trees blocking the sun’s light. Roughly 45% of California households are renters who can’t install a solar system on their own. Community solar projects are smaller-scale installations that allow multiple customers to subscribe and receive credit on their monthly energy bills for the amount of power that is produced, just as if the panels were on their own roof. Anyone who lives in an area with service provided by a privately-owned utility company is eligible, and financial incentives would also be available for low-income customers.

“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."