Code Section Group

Public Utilities Code - PUC

DIVISION 1. REGULATION OF PUBLIC UTILITIES [201 - 3260]

  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

PART 2. SPECIFIC PUBLIC UTILITIES [2701 - 2897]

  ( Part 2 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

CHAPTER 9. Solar Energy Systems [2851 - 2869]

  ( Heading of Chapter 9 renumbered from Chapter 8 (as added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1100) by Stats. 1979, Ch. 373. )

ARTICLE 3. Independent Solar Energy Producers [2868 - 2869]
  ( Article 3 added by Stats. 2008, Ch. 535, Sec. 4. )

2868.
  

The following definitions shall apply for purposes of this article:

(a) “Electric utility” means an electrical corporation as defined in Section 218, a local publicly owned electric utility as defined in Section 9604, or an electrical cooperative as defined in Section 2776.

(b) “Independent solar energy producer” means a corporation or person employing one or more solar energy systems for the generation of electricity for any one or more of the following purposes:

(1) Its own use or the use of its tenants.

(2) The use of, or sale to, not more than two other entities or persons per generation system solely for use on the real property on which the electricity is generated, or on real property immediately adjacent thereto.

(c) “Real property” means a single parcel of land.

(d) “Solar energy system” means any configuration of solar energy devices that collects and distributes solar energy for the purpose of generating electricity and that has a single interconnection with the electric utility transmission or distribution network.

(Added by Stats. 2008, Ch. 535, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2009.)

2869.
  

(a) (1) An independent solar energy producer contracting for the use or sale of electricity or the lease of a solar energy system, to an entity or person, for use in a residence shall include a disclosure to the buyer or lessee that, at a minimum, includes all of the following:

(A) A good faith estimate of the kilowatthours to be delivered by the solar energy system.

(B) A plain language explanation of the terms under which the pricing will be calculated over the life of the contract and a good faith estimate of the price per kilowatthour.

(C) A plain language explanation of operation and maintenance responsibilities of the contract parties.

(D) A plain language explanation of the contract provisions regulating the disposition or transfer of the contract in the event of a transfer of ownership of the residence, as well as the costs or potential costs associated with the disposition or transfer of the contract.

(E) A plain language explanation of the disposition of the solar energy system at the end of the term of the contract.

(2) The commission may require, as a condition of receiving ratepayer funded incentives, that an independent solar energy producer provide additional disclosure to the buyer or lessee, the commission, or both.

(b) An independent solar energy producer contracting for the use or sale of electricity or the lease of a solar energy system, to an entity or person, for use in a residence shall record a Notice of an Independent Solar Energy Producer Contract, within 30 days of the signing of the contract, against the title to the real property on which the electricity is generated, and against the title to any adjacent real property on which the electricity will be used, in the office of the county recorder for the county in which the real property is located. The notice shall include all of the following and may include additional information:

(1) (A) If the solar energy system is located on the real property, a prominent title at the top of the document in 14-point type stating “Notice of an Independent Solar Energy Producer Contract” and the following statement:

“This real property is receiving part of its electric service from an independent solar energy producer that has retained ownership of a solar electric generation system that is located on the real property. The independent solar energy producer provides electric service to the current owner of this real property through a long-term contract for electric service. The independent solar energy producer is required to provide a copy of the contract to a prospective buyer of the real property within ten (10) days of the receipt of a written request from the current owner of this real property.”

(B) If the solar energy system is located on an adjacent real property, a prominent title at the top of the document in 14-point type stating “Notice of an Independent Solar Energy Producer Contract” and the following statement:

“This real property is receiving part of its electric service from an independent solar energy producer that has retained ownership of a solar electric generation system that is located on an adjacent real property. The independent solar energy producer provides electric service to the current owner of this real property through a long-term contract for electric service. The independent solar energy producer is required to provide a copy of the contract to a prospective buyer of this real property within ten (10) days of the receipt of a written request from the current owner of this real property.”

(2) The address and assessor’s parcel number of the real property against which the notice is recorded.

(3) The name, address, and telephone number of the independent solar energy producer, and any other contact information deemed necessary by the independent solar energy producer.

(4) A statement identifying whether the contract is a contract for the sale of electricity or for the lease of a solar energy system, and providing the dates on which the contract commences and terminates.

(5) A plain language summary of the potential costs, consequences, and assignment of responsibilities, if any, that could result in the event the contract is terminated.

(c) (1) The recorded Notice of an Independent Solar Energy Producer Contract does not constitute a title defect, lien, or encumbrance against the real property, and the independent solar energy producer shall be solely responsible for the accuracy of the information provided in the notice and for recording the document with the county recorder.

(2) The independent solar energy producer shall record a subsequent document extinguishing the Notice of an Independent Solar Energy Producer Contract if the contract is voided, terminated, sold, assigned, or transferred. If the independent solar energy producer transfers its obligation under the contract or changes its contact information, it shall record a new notice reflecting these changes within 30 days of their occurrence.

(3) Within 30 days of the termination of a contract for the use or sale of electricity or the lease of a solar energy system, the independent solar energy producer shall record a subsequent document extinguishing the Notice of an Independent Solar Energy Producer Contract from the title to the real property on which the electricity is generated, and from the title to any adjacent real property on which the electricity was used, in the office of the county recorder for the county in which the real property is located.

(d) An independent solar energy producer contracting for the use or sale of electricity or the lease of a solar energy system shall provide a copy of the existing contract to a prospective buyer of the real property where the electricity is used or generated within ten (10) days of the receipt of a written request from the current owner of the real property.

(e) (1) All contracts for the sale of electricity by an independent solar energy producer to an entity or person, for use in a residential dwelling shall be made available to the commission upon its request, and shall be confidential, except as provided for in this subdivision. The disclosures required by subdivision (a) may be made open to public inspection or made public by the commission.

(2) A contract provided to the commission pursuant to this subdivision shall not be open to public inspection or made public, except on order of the commission, or by the commission or a commissioner in the course of a hearing or proceeding.

(3) This subdivision does not eliminate or modify any rule or provision of law that provides for the confidentiality of information submitted to the commission in the course of its proceedings.

(f) A master-meter customer of an electric utility who purchases electricity or leases a solar energy system from an independent solar energy producer, and who provides electric service to users who are tenants of a mobilehome park, apartment building, or similar residential complex, shall do both of the following:

(1) Charge each user of the electric service that is under a submetered system a rate for the solar generated electricity not to exceed the rate charged by the independent solar energy producer or the electric utility’s rate for an equivalent amount of electricity, whichever is lower.

(2) Comply with the provisions of Section 739.5 or 12821.5, and any rules set forth by an electric utility for master-meter customers.

(g) No transfer of real property subject to this article shall be invalidated solely because of the failure of any person to comply with any provision of this article. Any person who willfully or negligently violates or fails to perform any duty prescribed by any provision of this article shall be civilly liable in the amount of actual damages suffered by a transferee or transferor of the real property as a consequence of that violation or failure.

(Added by Stats. 2008, Ch. 535, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2009.)

PUCPublic Utilities Code - PUC