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AB-1070 Solar energy systems: contracts: disclosures.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 05/02/2017 09:00 PM
AB1070:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 02, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 17, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 30, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1070


Introduced by Assembly Member Gonzalez Fletcher

February 16, 2017


An act to add Sections 7169 and 7170 to the Business and Professions Code, to add Section 1882.7 to the Civil Code, and to add Section 2854.6 to the Public Utilities Code, relating to solar energy systems.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1070, as amended, Gonzalez Fletcher. Solar energy systems: contracts: disclosures.
Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation of various professions and vocations by boards within the Department of Consumer Affairs. Existing law, the Contractors’ State License Law, provides for the licensure and regulation of contractors by the Contractors’ State License Board. Existing law requires licensed contractors to be classified and authorizes them to be classified as, among other things, a solar contractor. Under existing law, a solar contractor installs, modifies, maintains, and repairs thermal and photovoltaic solar energy systems. Existing law prohibits a solar contractor from performing building or construction trades, crafts, or skills, except when required to install a thermal or photovoltaic solar energy system.
This bill would require the board, on or before July 1, 2018, to develop and make available on its Internet Web site a specified “solar energy system disclosure document.” The bill would require this disclosure document to be provided by the solar energy systems company to the consumer prior to completion of a sale, financing, or lease of a solar energy system, as defined, and that it, and the contract, be written in the same language as was principally used in the sales presentation and marketing material. The bill would require the department to receive and resolve complaints and consumer questions, and complaints received from state agencies, regarding solar energy systems companies and solar contractors. The bill would require the department annually to compile a report documenting complaints it received relating to solar energy systems companies and solar contractors that it shall make available publicly on the department’s and the Public Utilities Commission’s Internet Web sites.
Existing law governs certain obligations arising from particular transactions, including consumer contracts.
This bill would afford a consumer who enters into a contract for sale, financing, or lease of a solar energy system a period not exceeding 3 days, during which time he or she may cancel the contract for any reason.
The California Constitution establishes the Public Utilities Commission and authorizes the commission to exercise ratemaking and rulemaking authority over all public utilities, as defined, subject to control by the Legislature.
This bill would require the Public Utilities Commission to develop a standard methodology to be used in the calculation and presentation of electric utility bill savings to a consumer that can be expected by using a solar energy system by vendors, installers, or financing entities and to post the methodology on its Internet Web site. The bill also would require electrical corporations to post the methodology.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 7169 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

7169.
 (a) On or before July 1, 2018, the board shall develop, and make available on its Internet Web site, a “solar energy system disclosure document” that a solar energy system company shall provide to a consumer prior to completion of a sale, financing, or lease of a solar energy system. The “solar energy system disclosure document” shall include the following information:
(1) The amounts and sources of financing obtained.
(2) The total cost and payments for the system, including financing costs.
(3) The calculations used by the home improvement salesperson to determine how many panels the homeowner needs to install.
(4) The calculations used by the home improvement salesperson to determine how much energy the panels will generate.
(5) Any additional monthly fees the homeowner’s electric company may bill, any turn-on charges, and any fees added for the use of an Internet monitoring system of the panels or inverters.
(6) The terms and conditions of any guaranteed rebate.
(7) The final contract price, without the inclusion of possible rebates.
(8) The solar energy system company’s contractor’s license number.
(9) The impacts of solar energy system installations not performed to code.
(10) Types of solar energy system malfunctions.
(11) Information about the difference between a solar energy system lease and a solar energy system purchase.
(12) Information on how and to whom consumers may provide complaints.
(13) The consumer’s right to a cooling off period of three days pursuant to Section 1882.7 of the Civil Code.
(14) The impacts that the financing options, lease agreement terms, or contract terms will have on the sale of the consumer’s home, including any balloon payments or solar energy system relocation that may be required if the contract is not assigned to the new owner of the home.
(b) A contract for sale, financing, or lease of a solar energy system and the solar energy system disclosure document shall be written in the same language as was principally used in the oral sales presentation made to the consumer or the print or digital marketing material given to the consumer.
(c) For purposes of this section, “solar energy system” means a solar energy device that has the primary purpose of providing for the collection and distribution of solar energy for the generation of electricity, that produces at least one kW, and not more than five MW, alternating current rated peak electricity, and that meets or exceeds the eligibility criteria established pursuant to Section 25782 of the Public Resources Code.

SEC. 2.

 Section 7170 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

7170.
 (a) The Department of Consumer Affairs shall receive and resolve complaints and consumer questions regarding solar energy systems companies and solar contractors. The department shall also receive complaints received from state agencies regarding solar energy systems companies and solar contractors.
(b) The department annually shall compile a report documenting consumer complaints relating to solar energy systems companies and solar contractors. The report shall be made available publicly on the department’s and the Public Utilities Commission’s Internet Web sites. The report shall contain all of the following:
(1) The name of the solar energy system company or solar contractor.
(2) The number and types of complaints for each business.
(3) The Zip Code where the consumer complaint originated.
(c) For purposes of this section, “solar energy system” means a solar energy device that has the primary purpose of providing for the collection and distribution of solar energy for the generation of electricity, that produces at least one kW, and not more than five MW, alternating current rated peak electricity, and that meets or exceeds the eligibility criteria established pursuant to Section 25782 of the Public Resources Code.

SEC. 3.

 Section 1882.7 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

1882.7.
 (a) A consumer who enters into a contract for sale, financing, or lease of a solar energy system shall be afforded a period not exceeding three days, during which time he or she may cancel the contract for any reason.
(b) For purposes of this section, “solar energy system” means a device the primary purpose of which is to provide for the collection, storage, or distribution of solar energy for space heating, space cooling, electric generation, or water heating. solar energy device that has the primary purpose of providing for the collection and distribution of solar energy for the generation of electricity, that produces at least one kW, and not more than five MW, alternating current rated peak electricity, and that meets or exceeds the eligibility criteria established pursuant to Section 25782 of the Public Resources Code.

SEC. 4.

 Section 2854.6 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

2854.6.
 (a) The commission shall develop a standard methodology to be used in the calculation and presentation of electric utility bill savings to a consumer that can be expected by using a solar energy system by vendors, installers, or financing entities. This methodology shall be posted by the commission and each electrical corporation on their Internet Web sites.
(b) For purposes of this section, “solar energy system” means a solar energy device that has the primary purpose of providing for the collection and distribution of solar energy for the generation of electricity, that produces at least one kW, and not more than five MW, alternating current rated peak electricity, and that meets or exceeds the eligibility criteria established pursuant to Section 25782 of the Public Resources Code.