SACRAMENTO – Today, two bills to reduce California’s reliance on fossil fuels authored by Assemblymember Laura Friedman, D-Glendale, passed the Assembly. AB 1400 will phase out the use of fossil fuel generators used to back up microgrids, and AB 1414 caps the fees for solar installation to keep systems within reach of consumers.
“With advancements in renewable energy sources, we’re reducing our dependence on fossil fuels every day, but we have to improve the accessibility for consumers,” said Friedman. “This package of bills advances storage technology and ensures that systems are affordable for Californians.”
AB 1400 phases out the use of fossil fuel generators that are used for back-up power for microgrids. Municipalities, businesses, college campuses, and government agencies are increasingly turning to microgrids for both electricity reliability and climate change resiliency. While the microgrids typically incorporate renewable sources of energy, many also rely on diesel generators for back-up power. Under AB 1400, projects developed with funding from the California Energy Commission’s Electrical Program Investment Charge or Public Interest Research, Development, and Demonstration programs would be prohibited from using the funds to purchase fossil fuel generators.
In California’s 540 local jurisdictions, solar permitting costs vary widely, even for the exact same system in neighboring cities. AB 1414 provides some stability and security for consumers by extending the current cap on commercial solar permit fees and lowers the cap for residential permits to $400. The bill also provides flexibility for local governments that incentivizes municipalities to streamline their permitting process.
Both bills received bipartisan support and now move to the Senate for further action.
Laura Friedman represents the 43rd Assembly District which encompasses the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and La Cañada Flintridge, as well as the communities of La Crescenta and Montrose, and the Los Angeles