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AB-2135 Building standards: solar distributed generation technology on residential and commercial property.(2011-2012)

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Amended  IN  Senate  June 11, 2012
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 18, 2012
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 27, 2012

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2135


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Blumenfield
(Coauthor(s): Assembly Member Alejo, Fletcher, Solorio, Wieckowski, Williams)

February 23, 2012


An act to add Section 18941.11 to the Health and Safety Code, relating to building standards.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2135, as amended, Blumenfield. Building standards: solar distributed generation technology on residential and commercial property.
The California Building Standards Law provides for the adoption of building standards by state agencies by requiring all state agencies that adopt or propose adoption of any building standard to submit the building standard to the California Building Standards Commission for approval and adoption. In the absence of a designated state agency, the commission is required to adopt specific building standards, as prescribed. Existing law requires the commission to publish, or cause to be published, editions of the code in its entirety once every 3 years. The commission is authorized to act through a procedure for emergency standards, as defined, upon a finding of an emergency.
This bill would require the commission, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and the State Fire Marshal to cooperate in developing a model ordinance and guidelines guidebook to assist local agencies to develop in implementing building standards and permitting processes for solar distributed generation technology on residential and commercial property and post the model ordinance and guidelines guidebook on their respective Internet Web sites. The bill would provide that a city, county, city and county, or charter city that adopts the policies from the guidebook may receive a preference or priority related to grant funds from the California Energy Commission or the State Air Resources Board, as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The state urgently needs to assist local jurisdictions in the deployment of clean energy distributed generation technology.
(b) The state can assist local jurisdictions in deploying this technology by developing statewide building standards and recommendations for the installation of basic solar equipment on residential and commercial property.
(c) Electricity generated from solar power can assist the state in solving an array of environmental and economic problems related to energy production, including, but not limited to, assisting the state in reaching its environmental goals.
(d) In recent years, the state has both encouraged the development of innovative distributed generation technology and prioritized the widespread adoption of solar power as a renewable energy resource.
(e) To assist local jurisdictions and reach state environmental goals, it is imperative that the California Building Standards Code addresses technological advances through appropriate building standards and permitting policies for the installation of solar distributed generation technology and that local jurisdictions receive guidance on how to apply those standards and policies to ensure safe, reasonable, and consistent code enforcement.
(f) A streamlined, consistent process for installations of solar distributed generation technology on residential and commercial property will eliminate unnecessary waste and variability across jurisdictions, reduce the cost of solar power, increase the deployment of solar distributed generation technology, provide solar customers with greater installation ease, and generate much needed jobs in the state, all while maintaining safety standards.

SEC. 2.

 Section 18941.11 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

18941.11.
 (a) The commission and the Department of Housing and Community Development, in cooperation with the State Fire Marshal, shall develop a model ordinance and guidelines that guidebook to assist local agencies to develop in implementing building standards and permitting processes for solar distributed generation technology on residential and commercial property. The commission, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and the State Fire Marshal shall post the model ordinance and guidelines guidebook on their respective Internet Web sites.
(b) A city, county, city and county, or charter city that adopts the policies from the guidebook developed pursuant to subdivision (a) may receive a preference or priority related to grant funds from the California Energy Commission or the State Air Resources Board for the purposes of energy or climate project planning or implementation.