Last week on a sunny yet chilly morning in Sacramento, Vote Solar staff joined homeowners, school officials, kids, farmers, small businesses and solar workers on the steps of the Capitol, to demonstrate our support as legislators announced a bipartisan Solar Bill of Rights aimed at protecting the right of consumers to generate and store their own clean energy on-site, without interference from utility companies. 

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SB 288, co-authored by Democratic Senator Scott Wiener, who represents San Francisco, and Republican Senator Jim Nielsen, who represents Paradise and the surrounding communities that were devastated by last year’s Camp Fire, defends Californians’ fundamental right to choose onsite clean energy and also aims to clear away barriers that stand in the way of its adoption.

When Californians choose to install solar and storage at their home or business, they’re helping to reduce harmful pollution and build a more resilient grid for all of us. Poll after poll shows the majority of the public wants more local solar powering our state, and that’s why Vote Solar is helping to spearhead this bill.

As wildfires and other climate-related disasters become more frequent and destructive, California has to build a power grid that is more reliable, resilient and safe. By reducing climate pollution, decreasing dependence on the kind of long-distance transmission that’s been a cause of many of our state’s most devastating fires, and giving customers a way to keep the lights on when the grid does go down, local solar, batteries, and other smart clean energy technologies are an important piece of that stronger energy future. Senator Nielsen understands all too well the costs associated with our old utility system and what the transition to resilient clean energy would mean for individuals and communities.

The Solar Bill of Rights is helping to build that brighter energy future by ensuring that California’s families, schools, businesses and others have the right to:

  • Make, store and use solar energy on their own property without interference from the utility.
  • Connect solar and storage to the grid quickly without utility red tape.
  • Be free from discriminatory fees and charges associated with installing solar or storage. 
  • Contribute to the safety and reliability of their local energy grid, and be fairly compensated for that valuable contribution. 

A huge thank you to Senators Wiener and Nielsen and all the other legislative co-authors for championing this commonsense legislation at a time when our communities and our climate can't afford anything less than an urgent transition to safe, resilient, job-creating clean energy. We’re 100% behind you, and we’re thrilled that the Solar Bill of Rights has such support and momentum coming of the gate!

If you’d like to be able to speak up to support the bill as it moves forward in Sacramento, sign our pledge and we will keep you updated.

SB 288 was officially introduced on February 13 and will be set for a hearing in the coming months. For the full text of the bill, please click here

 

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