May 30, 2017 (SACRAMENTO) California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) today won unanimous, bipartisan approval for consumer rights legislation she is authoring to protect Californians who purchase solar power systems. Assembly Bill 1070 was approved by the Assembly on a vote of 65-0.
“Californians who invest in clean energy like installing rooftop solar systems on their home should be applauded for playing a part in combating climate change, but we need to make sure they know their rights and obligations before making such an expensive purchase. A clear-cut, understandable set of rules will protect consumers and encourage more people to move to solar power and help California stay the national leader on solar energy,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher said.
The use of solar energy has expanded dramatically in California. Solar energy generates enough electricity to power 4.7 million homes annually, and the solar energy industry employs more than 100,000 people in California. California ranks first in the nation when it comes to residential and non-residential solar projects.
The increasing popularity of residential solar energy systems means the state needs to enact consumer protections to ensure that solar energy system customers are being treated honestly and fairly. AB 1070 directs the Contractors State License Board to develop a fillable solar system disclosure document that must be provided to consumers before they purchase, lease or finance a solar energy system. The bill also makes the Department of Consumer Affairs responsible for resolving complaints against solar companies and for overseeing residential rooftop solar energy providers so that a process is in place to resolve consumer disputes in this emerging industry.