SACRAMENTO /California Newswire/ — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement after Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) committed to increase the amount of net metering for rooftop solar in its territory from 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent to ensure that investment in solar continues to grow. PG&E will submit the change in tariffs to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for approval within two weeks.

“California is the undisputed national leader when it comes to solar energy. Tens of thousands of homes and businesses are generating their own solar power, and thousands more are getting in line,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “PG&E’s action ensures that this movement toward renewable energy continues and I thank them for their great leadership. Furthermore, I commit to introduce legislation that will permanently eliminate all caps on net metering in California so there are no arbitrary limits on the amount of solar we can install, the number of jobs we can create and the amount of energy we can save.”

Solar installations are growing rapidly in California with more than 50,000 homes and businesses generating their own solar power. In fact, the California Solar Initiative is three years ahead of schedule, which means the state is on target to meet its ambitious solar goals but is also close to running up against PG&E’s 2.5 percent cap on net metering. Because net metering allows home and business owners who install solar to be reimbursed for excess power returned to the grid, running up against PG&E’s cap would chill customer investment in new installations. PG&E’s action to increase the amount of net metering will ensure continued investment in solar in California. The Administration will work with the CPUC and the legislature to ensure that net metering is a cost-effective option for solar customers and utilities.

The attached is a letter from PG&E CEO Peter Darbee regarding the company’s commitment to increase net metering to 3.5 percent.

Governor Schwarzenegger has a strong and proven commitment to not just solar energy but all clean energy that will create jobs, influence national policies and create a cleaner environment for future generations. Some of the Governor’s most ambitious actions include:
•Million Solar Roofs Initiative: The Governor’s $2.9 billion incentive plan for home and building owners who install solar electric systems, now known as the California Solar Initiative, will lead to one million solar roofs in California by the year 2018, provide 3,000 megawatts of clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3 million tons.
•Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32): AB 32 established a first-in-the-world comprehensive program of regulatory and market mechanisms to achieve real, quantifiable, cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. The law will reduce carbon emissions in California to 1990 levels by 2020.
•Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS): California’s LCFS requires fuel providers to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels sold in the state, dramatically expanding the market for alternative fuels. To start, the LCFS will reduce carbon content in all passenger vehicle fuels sold in California by at least 10 percent by 2020 and more thereafter.
•Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS): Governor Schwarzenegger signed an Executive Order (EO) directing the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to adopt regulations increasing California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 33 percent by 2020.
•Automobile Emissions Standards: After years of fighting the federal government for the authority to implement our greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted California’s waiver and the Obama Administration adopted it for the country.