The California legislature’s regular session ended August 31 with numerous sustainability bills headed to the governor’s desk for signature. California’s pending energy legislation focuses on greenhouse gas emission mitigation through implementation of energy efficiency, renewable and clean energy solutions and jobs.
Energy efficiency and job-creation bills, combined with the soon-to-be-unveiled statewide Energy Upgrade California whole-home retrofit program, can provide energy consumers more opportunities to make sustainable energy choices. AB 1809 will authorize a home inspection to include a HERS home energy audit if requested by the client. AB 2696 requires the Green Collar Jobs Council to analyze California’s potential for green job growth and to focus training on those areas. SB 675 will allocate $8 million to be spent on local grants that will create and maintain job training institutions for underemployed and unemployed residents.
On the renewable energy front, AB 2724 will allow California Solar Initiative administrators to incentivize projects from eligible systems up to five megawatts ( MW) in size, with a maximum of 26 MW statewide. Passed earlier this year, AB 510 increases the Net Metering cap to five percent of each utility’s peak demand. ( Net Metering allows consumers to receive credit on their energy bill for producing onsite renewable electricity.) AB 2514 will
require the California Public Utilities Commission to determine appropriate amounts of energy storage needed to support California’s renewable and clean energy technologies. Energy storage allows electricity generators to store energy that is produced at times different than when it is needed.
Property Assessed Clean Energy ( PACE) bills were sent to the governor despite the current standstill in PACE programs caused by an ongoing federal investigation into the constitutionality of PACE programs. SB 1340 will allow electric charging stations to be included in PACE programs. SB 77 was signed earlier in 2010 and will mandate a reserve fund for the state’s PACE programs. PACE supporters are rallying to attach PACE program language to a budget bill during a special session this September-November.
Governor Schwarzenegger has until September 30 to sign or veto pending legislation; those that he signs will take effect January 1, 2011. For more information on current California legislation, visit our legislation web pages.
Jennifer Green is CCSE’s manager of policy and program coordination.