New California Law Protecting Solar Customers

California homeowners who have or are going to invest in Solar will now enjoy new rights under a new law championed by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) that went into effect on January 1, 2019.

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The intent of the bill, Assembly Bill 1070, is to protect consumers looking to invest in solar power while discouraging unethical practices from the dishonest solar power companies.

“Homeowners will have more confidence when they shop for rooftop solar energy because of this new consumer protection,” Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez said, “As more Californians look toward residential solar energy systems to cut their monthly bills and do their part in fighting climate change, we should make sure homeowners are protected from being gouged by unscrupulous actors.”

AB 1070 directed the California State License Board (CSLB) to create a one-page disclosure to accompany every solar power system contract. She pushed for the disclosure to be available in multiple languages, arguing all Californians should be offered important documents in their native languages.

The law 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 for the solar industry. 

Another consumer protection reform taking effect later in 2019 will require solar companies to upload a signed contract as part of the interconnection application for residential customers and require utilities to validate their CSLB license with each application. The CSLB website offers a search feature that makes it easy for potential solar customers to verify a solar company’s license.

“We are honored and proud to have worked with Assemblywoman Gonzalez on the Solar Consumer Protection Bill, which will result in more solar advocates, moving us away from fossil fuels,” said Daniel Sullivan, founder and president of Sullivan Solar Power, a San Diego-based company using union electricians who has been in business nearly 15 years, “For most families, solar power is less expensive than staying with their utility, however, education is needed for families to get the facts to make an informed decision about going solar.”

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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