Bill Text: CA AB1923 | 2009-2010 | Regular Session | Enrolled


Bill Title: Energy: solar energy systems: theft prevention.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Vetoed) 2010-09-29 - Vetoed by Governor. [AB1923 Detail]

Download: California-2009-AB1923-Enrolled.html
BILL NUMBER: AB 1923	ENROLLED
	BILL TEXT

	PASSED THE SENATE  AUGUST 30, 2010
	PASSED THE ASSEMBLY  MAY 6, 2010
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  APRIL 8, 2010

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Evans

                        FEBRUARY 16, 2010

   An act to amend Section 2851 of the Public Utilities Code,
relating to energy.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 1923, Evans. Energy: solar energy systems: theft prevention.
   Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has
regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical
corporations, as defined. Decisions of the CPUC adopted the
California Solar Initiative. Existing law requires the CPUC to
undertake certain steps in implementing the California Solar
Initiative. Existing law prohibits the CPUC, in implementing the
California Solar Initiative, from allocating more than $50,000,000
for research, development, and demonstration that explores solar
technologies and other distributed generation technologies that
employ or could employ solar energy for generation or storage of
electricity or to offset natural gas usage.
   This bill would authorize moneys allocated by the CPUC for
research, development, and demonstration pursuant to the California
Solar Initiative, to be used for research, development, and
demonstration for antitheft technology to protect investments in
solar energy systems.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the
following:
   (a) Solar-generated electricity is uniquely suited to California's
needs because it produces electricity when the state most needs it,
during the peak demand hours in summer afternoons when the sun is
brightest and the demand is at its highest.
   (b) Procuring solar energy systems to meet peak electricity demand
increases system reliability and decreases the state's dependence on
unstable fossil fuel supplies.
   (c) Increasing solar energy's portion of the state's electricity
generation market will bring additional manufacturing, installation,
and sales jobs to the state at a higher rate than most conventional
energy production sources.
   (d) The benefits of expanding the use of solar energy to generate
electricity are numerous. Solar energy systems make use of secure,
indigenous, and sustainable natural resources and provide substantial
energy reliability. Solar energy has pollution reduction benefits,
diversifies the state's energy supply, and thereby reduces the state'
s dependence on imported fossil fuels.
   (e) Installing solar energy systems contributes to the state's
achieving its climate change goals required by the California Global
Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Division 25.5 (commencing with Section
38500) of the Health and Safety Code).
   (f) Over the past 15 years, the state has made significant
investments and commitments to solar energy through the following
actions:
   (1) In 1995, legislation established net energy metering and
declared that a program to provide net energy metering is one way to
encourage private investment in renewable energy resources, stimulate
in-state economic growth, enhance the continued diversification of
California's energy resource mix, and reduce interconnection and
administrative costs for electricity suppliers.
   (2) In 2002, the state established the California Renewables
Portfolio Standard Program with the goal of increasing the percentage
of renewable energy in the state's energy supply to 20 percent by
2017. In 2006, legislation accelerated the timeline to 20 percent by
2010. In the 2008 update to the state's Energy Action Plan, the State
Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission and the
Public Utilities Commission jointly supported expanding the state's
renewable energy goals to attain the target of generating 33 percent
of total retail sales of electricity in the state from eligible
renewable energy resources.
   (3) Beginning in late 2005 and continuing into 2006, the Public
Utilities Commission established the California Solar Initiative to
lead to one million solar roofs in California by 2018. While the
commission was still formulating the California Solar Initiative,
legislation was enacted that established as goals of the state, to
install solar energy systems with a generation capacity equivalent of
3,000 megawatts, to establish a self-sufficient solar industry in
which solar energy systems are a viable mainstream option for both
homes and businesses in 10 years, and to place solar energy systems
on 50 percent of new homes in 13 years.
   (4) In 2008, legislation enhanced the state's commitment to solar
energy by extending and expanding a property tax exclusion for
projects that utilize an active solar energy system and
builder-installed active solar energy systems in new homes.
   (g) Wineries, rural commercial properties, and individual solar
energy system owners throughout the state have been subjected to
increasing thefts related to their investment in solar technology.
Between June 2008 and September 2009, in Napa County alone, over 400
solar panels worth more than $400,000 were stolen from wineries.
   (h) The state has the ability to provide security for consumers
who have invested in an energy source with public support and
benefit. By doing so, the state can protect the strong investment it
has made in the renewable energy sector of the state's electricity
generation market.
   (i) The California Solar Initiative includes $50 million for
"Research, Development, Deployment, and Demonstration." To support
California's investment in, and commitment to, solar energy, a
portion of the funds should be invested in theft prevention,
tracking, and security for solar panels.
  SEC. 2.  Section 2851 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to
read:
   2851.  (a) In implementing the California Solar Initiative, the
commission shall do all of the following:
   (1) The commission shall authorize the award of monetary
incentives for up to the first megawatt of alternating current
generated by solar energy systems that meet the eligibility criteria
established by the State Energy Resources Conservation and
Development Commission pursuant to Chapter 8.8 (commencing with
Section 25780) of Division 15 of the Public Resources Code. The
commission shall determine the eligibility of a solar energy system,
as defined in Section 25781 of the Public Resources Code, to receive
monetary incentives until the time the State Energy Resources
Conservation and Development Commission establishes eligibility
criteria pursuant to Section 25782. Monetary incentives shall not be
awarded for solar energy systems that do not meet the eligibility
criteria. The incentive level authorized by the commission shall
decline each year following implementation of the California Solar
Initiative, at a rate of no less than an average of 7 percent per
year, and shall be zero as of December 31, 2016. The commission shall
adopt and publish a schedule of declining incentive levels no less
than 30 days in advance of the first decline in incentive levels. The
commission may develop incentives based upon the output of
electricity from the system, provided those incentives are consistent
with the declining incentive levels of this paragraph and the
incentives apply to only the first megawatt of electricity generated
by the system.
   (2) The commission shall adopt a performance-based incentive
program so that by January 1, 2008, 100 percent of incentives for
solar energy systems of 100 kilowatts or greater and at least 50
percent of incentives for solar energy systems of 30 kilowatts or
greater are earned based on the actual electrical output of the solar
energy systems. The commission shall encourage, and may require,
performance-based incentives for solar energy systems of less than 30
kilowatts. Performance-based incentives shall decline at a rate of
no less than an average of 7 percent per year. In developing the
performance-based incentives, the commission may:
   (A) Apply performance-based incentives only to customer classes
designated by the commission.
   (B) Design the performance-based incentives so that customers may
receive a higher level of incentives than under incentives based on
installed electrical capacity.
   (C) Develop financing options that help offset the installation
costs of the solar energy system, provided that this financing is
ultimately repaid in full by the consumer or through the application
of the performance-based rebates.
   (3) By January 1, 2008, the commission, in consultation with the
State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, shall
require reasonable and cost-effective energy efficiency improvements
in existing buildings as a condition of providing incentives for
eligible solar energy systems, with appropriate exemptions or
limitations to accommodate the limited financial resources of
low-income residential housing.
   (4) Notwithstanding subdivision (g) of Section 2827, the
commission may develop a time-variant tariff that creates the maximum
incentive for ratepayers to install solar energy systems so that the
system's peak electricity production coincides with California's
peak electricity demands and that assures that ratepayers receive due
value for their contribution to the purchase of solar energy systems
and customers with solar energy systems continue to have an
incentive to use electricity efficiently. In developing the
time-variant tariff, the commission may exclude customers
participating in the tariff from the rate cap for residential
customers for existing baseline quantities or usage by those
customers of up to 130 percent of existing baseline quantities, as
required by Section 80110 of the Water Code. Nothing in this
paragraph authorizes the commission to require time-variant pricing
for ratepayers without a solar energy system.
   (b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), in implementing the
California Solar Initiative, the commission may authorize the award
of monetary incentives for solar thermal and solar water heating
devices, in a total amount up to one hundred million eight hundred
thousand dollars ($100,800,000).
   (c) (1) In implementing the California Solar Initiative, the
commission shall not allocate more than fifty million dollars
($50,000,000) to research, development, and demonstration that
explores solar technologies and other distributed generation
technologies that employ or could employ solar energy for generation
or storage of electricity or to offset natural gas usage. Moneys
allocated for research, development, and demonstration may also be
used for research, development, and demonstration for antitheft
technology to protect investments in solar energy systems. Any
program that allocates additional moneys to research, development,
and demonstration shall be developed in collaboration with the Energy
Commission to ensure there is no duplication of efforts, and adopted
by the commission through a rulemaking or other appropriate public
proceeding. Any grant awarded by the commission for research,
development, and demonstration shall be approved by the full
commission at a public meeting. This subdivision does not prohibit
the commission from continuing to allocate moneys to research,
development, and demonstration pursuant to the self-generation
incentive program for distributed generation resources originally
established pursuant to Chapter 329 of the Statutes of 2000, as
modified pursuant to Section 379.6.
   (2) The Legislature finds and declares that a program that
provides a stable source of monetary incentives for eligible solar
energy systems will encourage private investment sufficient to make
solar technologies cost effective.
   (3) On or before June 30, 2009, and by June 30th of every year
thereafter, the commission shall submit to the Legislature an
assessment of the success of the California Solar Initiative program.
That assessment shall include the number of residential and
commercial sites that have installed solar thermal devices for which
an award was made pursuant to subdivision (b) and the dollar value of
the award, the number of residential and commercial sites that have
installed solar energy systems, the electrical generating capacity of
the installed solar energy systems, the cost of the program, total
electrical system benefits, including the effect on electrical
service rates, environmental benefits, how the program affects the
operation and reliability of the electrical grid, how the program has
affected peak demand for electricity, the progress made toward
reaching the goals of the program, whether the program is on schedule
to meet the program goals, and recommendations for improving the
program to meet its goals. If the commission allocates additional
moneys to research, development, and demonstration that explores
solar technologies and other distributed generation technologies
pursuant to paragraph (1), the commission shall include in the
assessment submitted to the Legislature, a description of the
program, a summary of each award made or project funded pursuant to
the program, including the intended purposes to be achieved by the
particular award or project, and the results of each award or
project.
   (d) (1) The commission shall not impose any charge upon the
consumption of natural gas, or upon natural gas ratepayers, to fund
the California Solar Initiative.
   (2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any charge imposed
to fund the program adopted and implemented pursuant to this section
shall be imposed upon all customers not participating in the
California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) or family electric rate
assistance (FERA) programs as provided in paragraph (2), including
those residential customers subject to the rate cap required by
Section 80110 of the Water Code for existing baseline quantities or
usage up to 130 percent of existing baseline quantities of
electricity.
   (3) The costs of the program adopted and implemented pursuant to
this section may not be recovered from customers participating in the
California Alternate Rates for Energy or CARE program established
pursuant to Section 739.1, except to the extent that program costs
are recovered out of the nonbypassable system benefits charge
authorized pursuant to Section 399.8.
   (e) In implementing the California Solar Initiative, the
commission shall ensure that the total cost over the duration of the
program does not exceed three billion three hundred fifty million
eight hundred thousand dollars ($3,350,800,000). The financial
components of the California Solar Initiative shall consist of the
following:
   (1) Programs under the supervision of the commission funded by
charges collected from customers of San Diego Gas and Electric
Company, Southern California Edison Company, and Pacific Gas and
Electric Company. The total cost over the duration of these programs
shall not exceed two billion one hundred sixty-six million eight
hundred thousand dollars ($2,166,800,000) and includes moneys
collected directly into a tracking account for support of the
California Solar Initiative and moneys collected into other accounts
that are used to further the goals of the California Solar
Initiative.
   (2) Programs adopted, implemented, and financed in the amount of
seven hundred eighty-four million dollars ($784,000,000), by charges
collected by local publicly owned electric utilities pursuant to
Section 387.5. Nothing in this subdivision shall give the commission
power and jurisdiction with respect to a local publicly owned
electric utility or its customers.
   (3) Programs for the installation of solar energy systems on new
construction, administered by the State Energy Resources Conservation
and Development Commission pursuant to Chapter 8.6 (commencing with
Section 25740) of Division 15 of the Public Resources Code, and
funded by nonbypassable charges in the amount of four hundred million
dollars ($400,000,000), collected from customers of San Diego Gas
and Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, and Pacific
Gas and Electric Company pursuant to Article 15 (commencing with
Section 399).
        
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