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Legislation regarding the use of solar energy in California falls into 3 categories: Interconnection issues[Net Metering], solar access laws, and financial incentives [tax credits, rebates, loans]. In California, bills passed in the state legislature typically result in laws that impact the whole state, regardless of the local electrical utility. Rulings issued by the California Public Utility Commission usually only apply to the investor owned utilities.
September 2001 - New Solar Bills Signed into Law!!!
Senate Bill 82xx requires the state Department of General Services to ensure that solar energy equipment is installed on all existing state buildings and parking facilities, with requirements for inclusion in new projects, as well. The bill also establishes PV as an energy efficiency improvement and is to be eligible for Small Business Fund financing.
Assembly Bill 1207 encourages local governments to either adopt an ordinance that would permit small wind energy systems, or to approve wind systems that meet certain minimum criteria until July 1, 2005.
Senate Bill 17xx - creates a solar tax credit, which is retroactive to January 1st 2001. The tax credit, for tax years 2001-2003, is equal to the lesser of 15 percent of the net purchase cost of a photovoltaic or wind-driven system with a generating capacity of not more than 200 kilowatts. The Bill allows a credit for one System per each separate legal parcel of property or per each address of the taxpayer in California, and requires recapture of the credit if the system is sold or removed from California within one year. The credit will be reduced to half that amount for tax years 2004-2005, and will sunset on January 1, 2006. Qualifying systems would need to be certified by the Energy Commission, installed with a five-year warranty, and would be required to be in service in California for at least one year. This bill complements other programs that provide incentives for installing renewable systems.
Senate Bill 48xx - Creates the Solar Training, Education and Certification Act of 2001 which is a three prong program that fills in gaps of existing state programs designed to encourage the use of solar energy systems. The bill has 3 compononets: 1) Allowing the California Energy Commission (CEC) to adopt specifications for the major electrical components in the absence of certification by a certified testing laboratory. 2) Authorizing local governments to develop a program to encourage the construction of buildings that use solar thermal and photovoltaic systems that are certified by nationally recognized certification agencies or the CEC. 3) Requiring the California Employment Development Department (EDD) to administer a solar training and oversight program
Other Helpful California links
Welcome to California
How to Build Solar Panels
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