Beall Bill To Install More Solar Panels Passes Key Committee

January 08, 2008
Contact: Cris Forsyth @  (916) 319-2490

Assembly Bill (AB) 811, authored by Assemblymembers Jim Beall, Jr. and Loyd Levine, passed out of Assembly Local Government Committee today without a single NO vote. AB 811 will help finance the upfront costs for solar power and other energy efficiency improvements to property owners by authorizing local governments to provide low interest loans with long-term repayments added to their annual property tax bills.

"Finally, we have removed one of the largest impediments to energy efficiency and conservation. The upfront cost of purchasing and installing energy efficient systems such as solar panels has prevented their wide spread use. A thirty percent reduction in consumption equals almost a fifty percent reduction in a home owner's energy bill," explained Beall.

Homeowners and small businesses that wish to participate in the program would only be required to repay the cost of their project plus a small fee to administer the program. Under the bill, local governments could provide funding for projects from a bond or loan that would be repaid through voluntary fees on a participating owner's annual property tax bill.

"The savings in electricity costs more than pays for the loans to install the equipment. It's a win-win situation for every one who wants to participate," exclaimed Beall.

AB 811 now goes to Assembly Appropriations Committee where its fiscal impact on the State will be considered. "Since this bill does not use a dime of State funds I expect it to pass out of fiscal committee," added Beall.