Renters, small businesses and millions of other utility customers throughout California soon will be able to utilize wind, solar and other forms of clean and affordable renewable energy through their utility provider.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law over the weekend legislation enabling Californians who cannot install their own renewable power generation system to obtain up to 100 percent renewable energy through PG&E, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric as soon as the fall of 2014.
The signing was the culmination of a three-year effort by state Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, who authored Senate Bill 43.
“Finally, the 75 percent of Californians currently unable to utilize solar power or other renewable energy, all the renters in California, all the businesses who lease, all those living in apartments and condos, everyone with low income or poor credit scores, will now be able to do so, without any state funds or shifting costs to consumers who choose not to participate,” Wolk said in a news release.
“I look forward to seeing this unique and exciting program provide these Californians with access to clean, renewable energy while creating thousands of jobs, encouraging more investment in an important sector of our state’s economy, and helping the state to meet its renewable energy goals.”
The law establishes the Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program, a program through which the three utilities will make 600 megawatts of renewable energy — enough electricity to power about 360,000 homes — available to customers who wish to subscribe for a higher percentage of clean, renewable energy than the 20 percent of renewables currently available through their utilities’ power mix.
“SB 43 opens the door for thousands of renters and other utility customers to go solar for the first time,” said Susannah Churchill, policy advocate with the Vote Solar Initiative. “We thank Governor Brown, Senator Wolk and other legislators for their leadership in creating an innovative new model that will allow more Californians to choose 100 percent renewable energy.”