Legislative Session was Marked by Key Steps Forward – and a Bullet Dodged
(San Francisco, CA) – Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) celebrated a successful session in California’s State Capitol in pursuit of its mission to transform public policy to enable rapid growth of advanced energy companies. New laws supported by AEE will accelerate the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state and streamline permits for rooftop solar installations. Also positive was the demise of a bill to delay bringing vehicle fuels under California’s cap-and-trade system, which would have slowed the move to alternatives to petroleum such as biofuels and electric vehicles.
A national organization established in 2011, AEE has become the leading business voice for advanced energy companies located or doing business in California. Its membership roster ranges from tech giant Microsoft to growing companies like EnerNOC, a leading provider of energy intelligence software that helps grid operators manage peak demand, as well as rooftop solar leaders SolarCity and Sungevity. Advanced energy encompasses energy efficiency, natural gas electric generation, solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, electric vehicles, biofuels and smart grid – innovations that make the energy used by Californians more secure, clean, and affordable.
“California is the leader of energy innovation in the United States,” said Graham Richard, CEO of Advanced Energy Economy. “The results are all around us – wind turbines on mountain passes, electric vehicles on the highways, and solar on rooftops. California is reaping the benefits in energy savings, cleaner air, new jobs and business growth. AEE is working with legislators and Governor Brown’s administration to keep that progress going.”
AEE worked to advance a number of bills and budget items in the 2013-14 legislative session. These included additional finance dollars for the Prop. 39 public building retrofit program, extension of the Self-Generation Incentive Program, extension of the Solar Property Tax exemption, and investment of cap and trade revenue. See AEE’s full blog post on the legislative session here.
Among the noteworthy legislative achievements supported by AEE are:
PASSED: AB 2565 (Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi) provides a practical solution for landlords and businesses and addresses the growing need for Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations around the state. Specifically, this new law will facilitate the build-out of charging infrastructure at businesses and multi-family housing units by giving lessees the opportunity to pay for the cost of installation and upkeep of the charging station.
PASSED: AB 2188 (Muratsuchi) streamlines the process for obtaining permits to install residential solar energy systems.
DEFEATED: AB 69 (Perea) would have threatened to delay the next step in the state’s climate plan. In 2015, transportation fuels are due to come under the cap-and-trade system for carbon reduction. With the petroleum industry expressing their opposition and concern over the potential for a spike in fuel prices, this bill was introduced to delay the move until 2018, leaving transportation fuels out of the cap-and-trade program. AEE opposed the bill as part of a strong coalition of business groups that kept the bill from advancing late in the session.
“Of all the energy-related industries in this state, AEE and its member companies are uniquely poised to help California meet its energy and climate goals,” said Steve Chadima, Senior Vice President, Communications, and Director of California Initiatives. “AEE exclusively represents companies that are delivering better energy options. Our job is to ensure they can grow, thrive, and create a prosperous future for California based on secure, clean, affordable energy.”
In August, AEE held its second annual “Pathway to 2050” event in Sacramento. Materials, photos, and video of sessions featuring state officials, utility executives, and advanced energy innovators are available here.
Keeping track of all energy legislation and regulatory paperwork in California can be tedious and time consuming. To help with this, AEE developed PowerSuite, a robust set of tools that allows members of the media and policymakers to search, track, and collaborate on energy legislation and regulatory proceedings from across the country with one, easy to use interface. Click here to check it out.