Friday, April 24, 2009

Living Off the Grid

An email about AB 212 has been festering in the inbox for a few days now, so Friday is probably as good a time to bring it up as any... 

Rep. Lori Saldana's bill to mandate "zero energy" new homes in California is making its way through the Assembly.  The Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on it earlier this month. 

Essentially the bill seeks to require that all new home construction after January 1, 2020 be "zero net energy," which the bill defines thusly:

"... a building that implements a combination of building energy efficiency design features and onsite or near-site clean distributed generation that results in no net purchases from the electricity or gas grid on an annual basis and produces enough electricity to offset the energy use attributable to an onsite use of purchased natural gas.”

What is interesting about the bill is that the text also allows for the CEC to override the January 1, 2020 date and pick a start date “on which photovoltaic technology is cost effective.”
 So despite all of the talk about wind and geothermal that peppers the text of the bill, this is really about solar.  

The list of supporters and detractors splits along ideological and business lines just as you would expect it would. 

In other news, CARB voted overwhelming (9-1) to adopt the LCFS yesterday-- no surprise there.