Renters Could Buy Solar, Too

Brian Hicks

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted August 8, 2012

A new California bill that’s currently under state assembly review will enable renters and other non-land owners to purchase solar power from nearby photovoltaic array owners.

The way it works is that customers would buy a specified amount of power from solar panel setups. These setups feed into the primary power grid, which will allocate the specified quantity of electricity directly to the customer. The customer would make some payments to the owners of the solar panels instead of paying everything to the power company.

From GetSolar:

“Many members of our congregations want renewable energy because it’s the moral thing to do,” Reverend Sally Bingham, an Episcopal priest in San Francisco said to the Mercury News. “It would be great to have a huge solar array on a big mega church, and then allow all of the members of the church to access that energy from the sun.”

Currently, around 44 percent of California residents cannot avail of the state’s ample solar energy incentives since they do not own land. The proposed bill would clear up around 2 gigawatts to cater to this demographic.

Of course, it would also help out solar equipment installation companies by making installations easier, and residents would benefit because installations would likely be less expensive. Rooftop solar suppliers like South California Edison also stand to benefit as their user-base could become more widespread.

California easily leads the nation in terms of installed solar power capacity. It also leads in terms of electricity generated from photovoltaic setups.

Although this new California bill—should it pass—won’t be the first of its kind (New Jersey and Pennsylvania have more or less similar programs), it will certainly be the most comprehensive such system.

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