Attention all Californians! Do you generate more power from your solar panels than you can use? Well, under a new bill adopted on Thursday, you can sell that excess electricity (and offset the cost of installing those PV panels on your roof). Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, drafted the legislation allowing utilities to buy up to 5 percent of their energy right from their customers. The bill was adopted on a 53-1 vote and according to SFGate, a spokeswoman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says that the governor intends to sign it.
Those is support of the legislation say it will spur on the use of solar panels while offsetting high electricity costs. The bill would double the current amount (2.5 percent) of electricity that is allowed to be bought from customers right now. Bernadette Del Chiaro, a clean energy advocate at Environment California said of the new measure, “It makes solar power affordable for people. You couldn’t do that if you lost all that electricity.”
Incentivizing solar even more is a great idea but the bill does have some flaws. Consumer advocates say that the bill would make more sense if the electricity sold back could count towards California’s renewable-energy mandates stating that it must generate 33 percent of its power from renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal by 2030.