Californian renters and low-income residents have limited access to renewable energy, making the state’s climate goal less achievable. To address the challenge, Assemblymember Chris Ward (D-San Diego) introduced AB 2316 earlier this year to establish a community renewable energy program. The bill passed in both the House and Senate and it arrived on Gov. Newsom’s desk on September 9.
AB 2316 requires that at least 51% of recipients be low-income earners, far more ambitious than Virginia’s 30%. Those served by So Cal Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric and PG&E will have access to this program. AB 2316 provides funding and incentives for community renewable energy projects, such as solar farms and storage batteries, mainly on open lands in underserved areas and communities affected by air pollution from dirty power plants. The bill also reduces electricity costs for low-income families who subscribe to the project.