By Scott Laskey
Are you considering purchasing solar panels for your home? If so, you probably have plenty of questions. The most common question we hear is related to the benefits of solar energy, but one we’re hearing more frequently is “What is Senate Bill 100?”
SB 100 focuses on ensuring California is 100 percent renewable energy powered by 2045. This is obviously a huge goal for the state to take on, but once the bill passes, you are going to be affected if you live in California.
With that in mind, here are a few things you need to know about Senate Bill 100 and what it means for you.
While the federal government has decided to remove important deadlines for renewable energy, Senate Bill 100 in California is going the opposite route. The new law even shortened the timetable for hitting certain benchmarks.
California was hoping to reach a 50 percent level of renewable energy by 2030. Under SB 100, this deadline changes to 2026. This may seem like a minimal change, but for most people, a four-year reduction in a job deadline would make the goal especially difficult.
While SB100 in California is 2017 born and bred, 2030 will be another huge year since renewables are targeted to hit 60 percent by then. The last benchmark is 2045 — when the state hopes to be fully renewable.
Many people simply assume that using renewable energy will save the government money, but recent studies moved this from “assumption” all the way up to “certainty.” One study found Australia would save $90 billion by going 100 percent renewable.
Australia isn’t the only place that’s benefitting from renewable energy. Scituate, Massachusetts, is showing us that renewable savings extend across the globe. It converted all of its government services to renewable energy, and it plans to save $400,000 a year because of this.
Lower government cost means the taxman doesn’t need as much from you. And if you get your own home solar panels, you will save money on utilities and be able to take advantage of solar tax credits. In essence, California being 100 percent renewable will save everyone money.
Saying that California will be 100 percent renewable energy powered by 2045 is promising in 2017, but it will have effects on the state’s unemployment rate well into the future. Some claim that renewable energy kills jobs, but the facts indicate otherwise.
In reality, California employs 10 times more people in clean energy than the entire country employs in the coal industry. More than half a million Californians already work with renewable energy, and more workers benefit you even if you’re employed.
When unemployment drops, the government needs less taxpayer money to support social safety nets. Your buying power also increases during these times, and if you own a business, low unemployment means more people can shop with you.
When touting the benefits of California SB 100 for renewable energy, supporters focus on the economy and environment. These benefits are certainly beneficial over the long haul, but the potential for remaining safe during a disaster is important now.
Natural and man-made disasters can directly affect the power grid. Renewable sources, however, diversify our energy production and allow for decentralization in the grid. For example, a storm with the potential to take out electricity in all of Santa Cruz might only affect smaller areas.
Renewable energy can’t guarantee that you won’t lose vital resources related to electricity, but it does improve your chances of staying connected during disasters. If SB100 only accomplishes this, it will have been well worth it.
This information stands out because it shows Senate Bill 100 in California is good for everyone in the state. It is because of this that Californians should stand behind the measure and even take the initiative to get their own home solar panels if possible.
Did you enjoy learning about SB100? If so, take a moment to share this article and get the word out about SB100.
Sandbar Solar & Electric has been locally owned for 13 years, and we take pride in being the largest residential and commercial solar installer in Santa Cruz County. Our professional commitment, ethical solutions and environmental stewardship are constant goals.
In the Central Coast region, we’ve earned a reputation of designing and installing solar panels whose efficiency cannot be beat, so take a look at our Recent Projects portfolio. Whether you’re in Santa Cruz or Monterey Counties, or even if you’re in San Jose or the Bay Area, we’re here to help.
Scott is the founder of Sandbar Solar. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from UC San Diego, Scott has an NABCEP certification, and has lectured on and taught many high-tech construction practices and solar PV technical concepts to education institutions, including Stanford University and state-recognized electrician apprenticeship programs. Scott enjoys sharing his knowledge of the evolving renewable energy space and making a difference in his community.
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