Sunday, September 4, 2005
Changes to California’s SB 1 Bill have forced many of the bill’s strongest supporters, including Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, to oppose it. Governor Schwarzenegger is now expected to veto the bill.
The bill sought to provide incentives for businesses and individuals to install rooftop solar panels, in a manner similar to existing programs in Washington and Oregon. Under pressure from the electrician’s union, the bill was amended to require that installation be done by licensed electricians and that “prevailing wages” be paid for all commercial solar work done in the state.
Existing solar contractors were originally among the bill’s strongest supporters but now oppose it due to the changes. This comes despite the fact that they would be, under a grandfather clause, granted an exception to the new requirements for an electrician’s license. Future solar specialists would be required to also be licensed electricians.