SB 1374: An Introduction to California’s Newest Energy Bill Affecting Schools

SB 1374: An Introduction to California's Newest Energy Bill Affecting Schools

After new regulations rattled California’s school districts, who have long struggled to procure and afford renewable energy, a new bill has emerged to bridge the gaps. SB 1374 was recently introduced by Menlo Park Democratic Senator Josh Becker, and according to a CalMatters opinion piece, “would essentially close a loophole that has unfairly undermined the economics of multi-meter properties like schools, making it unviable to install solar panels.”

SB 1374 “would require, no later than July 1, 2025, the commission to ensure that any contract or tariff established by the commission pursuant to the above-described provisions for renewable electrical generation facilities configured to serve either multiple customers with meters on a single property, or multiple meters of a single customer on a property or a set of contiguous properties owned, leased, or rented by the customer, meets certain requirements, including that eligible customer-generators are authorized to elect to aggregate the electrical load, as specified,” as this text describes. 

In layman’s terms, this bill expands districts’ solar offset credits to apply toward their total sum of meter usage, rather than previous restrictions that require all offsets to be applied to a single meter. It would also eliminate the requirements for solar energy resale at cut rate, which CalMatters describes as follows: “[A]ny excess solar energy produced must be sold back to utilities at a discounted rate, only to be repurchased at full retail price to power other meters. It’s akin to being penalized for growing vegetables at home but having to sell them for pennies, then purchase that same produce at a market price.”

For California schools, the passage of SB 1374 would make it more economically viable to install solar infrastructure, and by selling excess energy product at market rate, the investment will likely make solar energy more sustainable for CA schools. 

This bill was discussed alongside a roster of other environmental bills at last month’s CA Senate Standing Committee hearing, where Democratic Senator Josh Becker remarked: 

“SB 1374 is just telling the PUC to give the same deal to properties that were part of virtual net energy meeting before the properties like schools and apartments and farms where the solar powers are generating energy behind a separate meter from the meters measuring usage.” 

As of now, the Senate Committee ultimately voted to pass the bill. SB 1374 continues to evolve and will continue in the legislative process. You can track its progress here.

At SPURR, we are dedicated to staying in front of California utility news and sharing opportunities and possible effects with our customers. We will continue to cover SB 1374 as the bill evolves and undergoes additional votes, and will ensure that its effect on our customers is understood, and benefits realized as they become available. 

Check back soon for an update. 

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