Energize your electric car with a cheaper solar panel in California

They say the only thing holding us back from electric cars coming to market is the lithium ion battery. But where will the extra electricity come from and how much will it cost? If it is up to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger we will be able to provide our electric cars energy, free of charge, au gratis the sun.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today signed AB 1714 by Assemblymember Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys) and Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) that reduces rates for solar customers by adjusting language in legislation passed last year to complete the Million Solar Roofs plan. The program, administered by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), provides financial incentives to home and business owners to install solar systems to reduce electricity demand in California , helping to ensure an adequate supply and protect the environment.

“I am very pleased the Legislature was able to act so quickly to strengthen this important program that will greatly expand solar energy in California . By expanding it’s use in homes and businesses across our state, we can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions while bringing more jobs to California.” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “This legislation will result in lower rates for solar customers and will help us work to maximize Californians’ participation in the program.”

Language in the legislation passed last year related to the requirement for Time of Use rates for electricity customers that install solar systems caused some customers to experience increased costs. This bill allows the CPUC to temporarily change the rate structure for solar systems installed since January 1, 2007. The legislation will take effect immediately and will also allow the CPUC to offer rebates or credit’s to ratepayers impacted by the current rate structure.

To expedite the passage of this urgency legislation, Governor Schwarzenegger worked with a bipartisan group of legislators including Assemblymembers Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys), Bonnie Garcia (R- Cathedral City), John Benoit ( R-Palm Desert ) and Senators Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego), Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga) and Jim Battin (R-La Quinta). The Governor has also worked with utilities, environmental groups and other stakeholders to craft the agreement.

Since taking office, Governor Schwarzenegger has made it a priority to develop a self-sustaining solar industry for California . The Governor worked for more than two years with the legislature and the CPUC to create a solar program for the citizens of California . To fully implement the incentive program, he signed SB 1 by Senator Kevin Murray (D- Los Angeles ) in August, 2006.

One million solar roofs will greatly increase the state’s rooftop solar energy capacity, providing the output equivalent of five modern electric power plants. This program’s 3,000 megawatt goal, taken together with other aggressive solar initiatives such as requiring utilities to acquire 20 percent of the power used within the state from renewable sources, will make California once again a world leader in solar power.

In October of last year, the Governor launched the Go Solar California Web site (www.GoSolarCalifornia.ca.gov), a one stop shop for information on the state’s solar programs for California residential and commercial power users.

About the Author:

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY), Women's World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and the Concept Car of the Year.

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