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Governor Newsom Signs Assemblymember Ward Bill to Expand Solar Benefits to California Renters

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO,CA) – California continues to lead the way in adopting renewable energy solutions to fight climate change with over 20% of the state’s energy generation coming from solar. But a large swath of Californians are still unable to access solar technology because roughly 45% of households are renters who can’t install a solar system. Today, Governor Newsom signed AB 2316 by Assemblymember Ward to to help close this gap by establishing a statewide “community solar and storage” program. 

“We can’t achieve our clean energy goals while leaving half the state behind,” said Assemblymember Ward (D-San Diego). “This legislation represents the most significant expansion of solar access to low- and middle-income communities in state history, allowing everyone to reap the benefits of clean energy without having to worry about the cost or structural challenges.”

Customers of privately-owned utilities like San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, or Pacific Gas & Electric will be able to sign up or decline to participate in the community solar storage program. Customers who do participate will receive a credit on their utility bill for their share of power that is produced, just as if the solar panels were on their own roof. Financial incentives will also be available for low-income customers. Subscribers are compensated based on the value of the renewable energy resource, which is determined by the privately-owned utility.

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. It will also offer solar access to homeowners or business owners who cannot afford to install their own photovoltaic systems or can’t install them due to structural challenges.