California FIT & Net Metering Bills Signed

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger last week signed two solar bills designed to give added incentive to businesses and homeowners to invest in a solar system and help the state achieve its aggressive renewable energy goals.

The first bill, AB 920, was authored by Assembly member Jared Huffman (D-Marin) and requires utility companies to write a check to their customers for surplus solar electricity generated on an annual basis. Previously, under the state’s net metering law, utility companies were allowed to receive surplus solar electricity from their customers for free.

The bill also requires the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)[1] to set a rate at which utility companies shall compensate solar customers whenever a solar system generates more electricity than a home or business uses in a given year.

The second bill, SB 32, was authored by Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino) and establishes a new feed-in-tariff program for the state. A feed-in-tariff policy requires utility companies to purchase solar electricity at a set rate over a twenty-year period.

AB 920 and SB 32 were both signed on the last possible day the Governor could act on bills passed on the final days of the 2009 legislative session.

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