Solar advocates applaud as AB 327 passes Assembly

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Assembly Bill AB 327 passes California Assembly. The bill now moves to Governor Brown, who is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming weeks. AB 327 will pave the way for uncapped net metering in California, and thereby helps ensure that the solar industry can continue to grow and create jobs across California.

Assembly Bill 327 passed the state Assembly on Thursday, September 12, 2013. The bill, authored by Assembly Member Henry Perea, now moves to Governor Brown’s desk for its official signing. Brown is expected to sign AB 327 into law in the coming weeks.

In short, AB 327 will:

 

  • Remove the current suspension on net metering that would go into effect at the end of this year.
  • Eliminate uncertainly over how the current net metering cap is calculated.
  • Provide a framework for removing the net metering cap altogether.
  • Provide certainty that net metering customers’ investment expectations are respected.
  • Remove the 33% ceiling on the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard — which means the 33% becomes a floor, not a ceiling.

 

AB 327 helps ensure that the rooftop solar industry can continue to grow and create jobs across California through directives that pave the way for uncapped net metering. Net metering is the cornerstone solar policy that gives solar customers full retail credit for the excess energy they put back on the grid. Furthermore, AB 327 addresses a number of important residential electricity rate design issues in a balanced manner.

AB 327 is a rare example of California’s investor-owned utilities, the solar industry, and ratepayer advocates all supporting the same bill. Solar groups including The Alliance for Solar Choice, the Vote Solar Initiative, and the Solar Energy Industries Association all filed letters of support. 

“Passage of this legislation means more Californians will now have access to cleaner, cheaper, and better energy,” said John Stanton, co-chair of The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) and VP of Policy and Electricity Markets for SolarCity. 

AB 327 will provide much-needed stability for the rooftop solar industry by preserving net metering and removing the ceiling on California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). “Greater market stability creates the opportunity for more jobs across California’s rooftops,” Stanton added.

Randy Bishop, a TASC member and CEO and co-founder of Verengo, commented, “AB 327 recognizes that net metering is smart policy and should continue in California without restrictions. With this bill, our state’s leaders are helping ensure all Californians have the choice of using clean solar energy.”