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Sun Bandit Joins CALSEIA In Advocating for Millions In California Solar Incentives

Sun BanditOn the heels of qualifying for its share of a pool of nearly $110 million in California Solar Initiative (CSI) Solar Thermal Program rebates last month, Sun Bandit joined the solar-savvy folks at the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA) and another 150 hard-charging solar and storage professionals representing 80 businesses throughout the state to advocate for key pro-solar legislation at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. 


Our collective efforts are paying off. The California Legislature’s Senate Appropriations Committee released its list of advancing bills on September 1 and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin’s AB 797 – which extends the availability of CSI incentives for natural gas-replacing solar water heating systems until 2020 – is among them.


Close to $109 million in incentives is currently available to drive solar adoption: $92.6 million for general market, natural gas-displacing projects and $16.3 million for qualifying low-income single family and multi-family projects. These incentives are in most instances combinable with a 30% federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC*), which can cumulatively reduce up to 75% of system purchase and installation costs. Once solar water heating systems like Sun Bandit are installed, consumers and businesses can shave another 75% off their monthly bills.


Next steps for AB 797 include a trip to the Senate floor (likely Thursday or Friday this week) followed by a trip to the Assembly floor for consideration shortly thereafter. If AB 797 passes both chambers, the California Governor has until October 15th to sign the bill.


Other pro-solar legislation warranting a YES! vote includes:


AB 1414 (Friedman) – Extends the cap on residential and commercial solar permitting fees for 7 more years, while expanding this regulatory relief to solar thermal installers and the many small business supporting ground-mount systems. While Sun Bandit’s off-grid capabilities make it utility-free, we support permit streamlining for all solar installers. 

SB 242 (Skinner) – Reinforces and provides additional consumer protections for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financed projects. Sun Bandit qualified for PACE financing last year.


AB 634 (Eggman) – Removes the 2/3 vote requirement to install solar on common area roofs on multi-family units in HOAs.


SB 100 (De Leon) – Updates California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50% by 2025 and 60% by 2030) while setting zero-carbon electricity goals by 2045.


**NOTE: If you live in California or have employees, friends or family who do, now is the time to contact your state legislators with your support for this important pro-solar legislation via email, letter or phone. Find your California representatives in the Senate and Assembly by clicking here.**


According to the Solar Foundation’s Solar Jobs Census, California is currently home to 100,000 solar industry employees – that’s over 38% of the nation’s total solar workforce. And solar job growth rates continue to climb at rates far higher than most other industry sectors. Pro-solar, pro-business legislation makes good economic sense. 


California isn’t the only state that’s qualified Next Generation Energy’s Sun Bandit for rich state rebates, but it was certainly among the first to see the value of market incentives in driving energy independence while accelerating the nation’s clean energy economy. 

“For 30 years, we’ve been in the business of working to make solar more affordable for more citizens. It’s one of our core values,” said Sun Bandit parent Next Generation Energy’s Bill Beedon. “We didn’t hesitate in this opportunity to align ourselves with the CALSEIA constituency in this important legislative effort.”


The result is more jobs for Californians, lower energy costs for property owners, increased cashflow in local communities, cleaner air and water for our citizens and a larger portfolio of clean, renewable energy projects that help the state meet its emissions reduction goals. The time is now to assert our independence from polluting fossil-fuel-fed power plants and foreign energy interests.


The sun may have set on CALSEIA’s important event, but their work continues. And a new day is dawning for legislators to make a meaningful difference to its citizens. And for citizens to let their pro-solar voices be heard. Make the call; write an email. It’s a small investment that can reap many renewable returns – no matter where you live.


Theres an old industry adage that suggests As goes California, so goes the nation.If that trend persists, the money-saving, job-creating, property-improving benefits of solar could be in for a clean energy jobs revival that can sweep the nation. Its a golden opportunity thats rife with potential.

*Check with a qualified professional to confirm the availability and compatibility of local, state and federal incentives in your area.


Click or call us at 877-NGE-4SUN (877-643-4786) to discuss Sun Bandit Dealer and Distributor opportunities.
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