California has the strongest renewable energy market in the U.S., yet for various reasons, approximately 75 percent of Californians are unable to install renewable energy on their own properties. SB 43 would offer residential renters, commercial customers, and others an opportunity to green their energy supply beyond what is required by state clean energy laws, and save money by participating in a shared renewable energy system.
SB 43, proposed by state Senator Lois Wolk, expands consumer access to renewable energy self-generation programs, providing all customers of PG&E and other state utilities with the ability to invest in offsite renewable energy projects and receive utility bill credits in return. It extends the economic and environmental benefits of renewable energy self-generation to the large percentage of Californians who currently have no access: renters, people whose homes are shaded or poorly oriented, small businesses that lease their facilities, space-limited public entities, and consumers who lack sufficient credit.
Renewable energy self-generation is a new way to expand the availability of renewable energy to more Californians while taking advantage of the economies of scale resulting from larger renewable energy facilities. A shared renewable energy program provides new uses for degraded or idle land, saves consumers money, provides opportunities for investment, expands the tax base, and creates thousands of local jobs. It supports electrical grid stability, and makes a significant contribution to the fight against climate change—and does all this without requiring a single dollar of ratepayer- or taxpayer-funded incentives.
SB 43 would result in cleaner air and a healthier environment and would help address climate change. If passed, the proposed program would also unleash significant private sector investment, create jobs, and boost the California economy, all without public funds.
A 1,000-megawatt California Shared Renewables program created by SB 43 would result in up to 12,700 new jobs for Californians, $130 million in tax revenue, and $4.3 billion in economic activity in the state.
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