California lawmakers pass AB 327 as utilities, solar industry both claim victory
- The California State Assembly has passed AB 327, which now awaits Governor Jerry Brown's signature to become law.
- The bill would allow the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to approve a flat fee for rooftop solar owners of up to $10 a month.
- The bill removes the state's net metering cap and give the PUC authority to set renewable portfolio standards and mandate the design and implementation of net metering programs for utilities.
Insight: It's rare to see both solar advocates and electric utilities supporting the same energy legislation, but it's happened in California. Of course, neither side loves everything in the bill but both utilities and the solar industry seem to feel it's a fair enough compromise. The bill doesn't end the battle over rooftop solar but simply allows both sides to live on and fight another day.
From the article:
PG&E Corp. (PCG), Edison International (EIX) and Sempra Energy (SRE), owners of the state’s largest investor-owned utilities, supported the bill. The Sierra Club has called the $10 fixed charge, which can’t be offset by solar production, “excessive and unnecessary.”
A spokesman for the governor declined to comment on whether he would sign the measure.
“This bill allows state regulators to make the most significant reforms to residential electric rates since the energy crisis,” said Matt Freedman, staff attorney with the Utility Reform Network, a consumer advocacy group that supports the legislation.
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