SB 843: Community-Based Renewables


As a renter in Oakland, it’s hard enough to ask my landlord to fix a leaky faucet. I can’t even imagine his reaction if I tried to convince him to install solar panels on our apartment complex’s roof.

And I’m not alone in this problem. At least 75% of households cannot participate in rooftop solar because:

  1. They are renters and don’t own their roofs;
  2. They do not have strong enough credit ratings to finance the installation, or  
  3. Their roof is too small or doesn’t receive enough sunlight.

Furthermore, most businesses, especially small local businesses, rent or lease their facilities and also do not own their roofs.

Senator Wolk’s SB 843 would allow all these California households and businesses the ability to voluntarily buy renewable power from a nearby community renewable power plant. If customers choose to do this, they would receive a credit on their current electricity bill and save money!

The Ella Baker Center supports SB 843 because it will save consumers money, create thousands of jobs, and make a significant contribution to the fight against climate change—and does this all without using one tax dollar.

This “community-based renewable self-generation program” is a green choice for consumers, from low-income renters to underfunded public schools.  These community renewable power plant arrangements may come in many different forms. For example, a school campus may subscribe to a portion of a remote system to power their entire campus or a congregation could power their homes by sharing electricity generated by a solar system on their church’s roof.

How it works:

SB 843 lets developers build community renewable power plants on degraded land and roof tops so they can sell renewable energy to customers.  Customers then receive credit on their electricity bill for their share of renewable energy delivered to the grid.  Allowing customers to subscribe to a system offsite makes it easier for customers to choose to be green!

What you can do to help:

Please call Assembly Member Swanson at (510)-286-1670 and tell him that you support SB 843 because you want to fight climate change by making renewable energy accessible to everyone.