Fighting for the growth of solar at all levels of government.
CALSEIA has played a leading role in legislation such as the California Solar Initiative, the Solar Rights Act, and the recent permit streamlining bill, AB 2188 (Muratsuchi). We intervene in CPUC proceedings such as net metering “2.0”, Rule 21, and numerous rate cases. And we jump in when code changes like the recent 1703 fire code revisions threaten to disrupt the market. CALSEIA also works to build support among California’s Congressional delegation for solar-friendly policies at the federal level such as extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC).
Protecting NET METERING
Net metering is the foundational policy enabling California consumers to invest in solar energy in a cost-effective and efficient manner. In 2013, the California Legislature passed AB 327, which put in motion changes to net metering rules, so-called “NEM 2.0”. The new rules will take effect once the utilities reach their 5% cap sometime between Spring 2016-Spring 2017 depending on the utility. The California Public Utilities Commission has a deadline of December 2015 to issue the new rules.
California’s utilities, PG&E, So Cal Edison and SDG&E, have proposed drastic changes to net metering that would make going solar 2-3 times more expensive than it is today. Their proposals would slash compensation rates for electricity sent back to the grid and attach new fees for solar customers. Their proposals would create a negative precedent for consumers in municipal utility territories (LADWP, SMUD, etc.) as well. CALSEIA is fighting back and working to protect net metering for today’s customers and tomorrow’s.
LOWERING SOFT COSTS
California’s solar industry is striving to continually lower our costs to make solar energy an affordable and cost-effective investment for all consumers. In order to reduce prices, we need to lower soft-costs, all the expenses outside of actual hardware. Some of the biggest and avoidable soft costs include local permitting, utility interconnection processes, and illegal Homeowner Association opposition. CALSEIA is has a multi-pronged program to tackle all of these soft costs.
Solar Heating AND COOLING
Solar Heating and Cooling technologies, sometimes called Solar Thermal, capture heat energy from the sun and use it to heat water and air for homes, businesses and industrial uses. It is California’s oldest form of solar energy, and one of the most efficient ways of converting sunlight into usable energy for our homes and businesses.
CALSEIA is working to inform consumers about the benefits of solar heating and cooling, as well as working to ensure that solar water heating is a core piece of the state’s strategy for reducing natural gas and electricity use, and meeting both its greenhouse gas reduction and zero energy building goals—such as extending the recently revamped CSI Thermal Program to 2022 through AB2460.
Solar for All
CALSEIA believes that all California consumers should have access to solar energy. Our vision is for solar power to be as commonplace and accessible as cell phones and double-paned windows. Until we reach that level of market access, California will be leaving too much pollution-free sunshine on the table, unnecessarily building polluting power plants and subjecting ratepayers to added costs.
CALSEIA worked closely with the California environmental justice community to pass AB 693 (Eggman), which sets up a revolutionary way of building solar on low-income apartment buildings for benefit of the tenants. We will be working to implement this groundbreaking new program as well as expand solar access and solar jobs for all Californians.