California’s Solar Legislation Can Have Long Lasting Effects on The Solar Industry in The State
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of the State Assembly of California has provided the assembly with a bill numbered 1139. This bill proposes various changes to the solar industry and the net metering which is currently being done to help the solar investors get back their investment in the long run.
The bill has been read about three time on the assembly floor. The last time it was proposed, it got only 28 votes, which is less than the required number of votes for a bill to pass. However, the bill is still there, and it might be proposed again with some amendments.
Proposal of The Assembly Bill 1139
The bill 1139 presented in the California state assembly mainly focuses on the Net Energy Metering (NEM) related rates which are being paid by the utility companies to the solar investors. The bill also proposed to remove various other benefits of installing solar system in your house in addition to cutting the rates which are currently being paid significantly.
This bill can make recouping your original investment in solar way more difficult. Usually, a solar customer is able to get back his investment in the form of decreased energy bills in around 11 years. But if the bill 1139 is passed, it might increase this time to around 20 to 40 years, or even more. Since getting back their investment in a decade or so is the main reason why people install solar, the increased investment recouping time might deter more people from investing it this environmentally-friendly technology.
Assemblywoman Gonzalez’s Claims
Gonzalez claims that the bill is proposed in order to fix any concerns related to equity. According to her, people who don’t have a solar on their houses have to pay more than two hundred dollars every year just to subsidize the households using solar.
Usually, the households which don’t use solar are poor, and making them pay to subsidize the already rich solar users is unfair. That’s why Gonzalez thinks that NEM is hurtful to the poor households, and makes the rich even richer.
Opposition to The Bill
Michael Powers is the co-founder of the leading solar company “Stellar Solar” in the state. He has mentioned that the bill can really burn the company’s grown and revenue, and can deter more people from investing in the solar energy, which is the only way forward as the world continues to face climate change due the the overuse of non-renewable natural resources to make energy.
Moreover, Powers mentioned that the bill 1139 can effectively kill the solar industry by reminiscing the demand for more solar panels.
Stellar Solar is also using their promoter and NBA player “Bill Walton” to push the solar customers in order to publicly oppose the bill 1139.
Walton stated that the bill is unfair, and can hurt the state who is currently leading the US in solar related progress. He has also appealed to the CA State Assembly, Governor and the Senate to reject this bill. He mentioned that the utilities companies are using these tactics to deter the public from converting to solar.
However, Gonzalez’s representatives didn’t answer any of the questions related to this story.