Texas Senate Bill 2066: It’s Impact on Residential Solar
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Texans interested in solar have faced numerous city restrictions. These restrictions make it difficult for those who want solar on their homes to get it. To help alleviate this struggle, Senate Bill 2066 is one among several energy bills presented in the 86th legislative session.
How Senate Bill 2066 will Help Solar Customers
This bill is different because it is the only bill in the 86th legislature pertaining strictly to solar power. This bill protects solar energy-generating businesses and homes from unfair practices.
Renewable Generations Protection for Lease and Sale Contracts
As one of its protecting measures, this bill requires the company selling or leasing the generation system to disclose all important information. Although honest Texas solar companies already do this, some don’t. This portion of the bill ensures that customers knows to what they’re agreeing.
Renewable Energy Bill Changes to Texas Interconnection
One of the issues with solar interconnection is that every city has different regulations. These requirements are even more varied if you live in a city with utility company deregulation.
However, if this bill passed, this would change. Senate Bill 2066 prevents municipalities from restricting solar interconnection.
The only exceptions are if your homeowner association is against solar. Or if your system isn’t reliable, doesn’t produce quality power and/or isn’t safe for the grid.
It also restricts homeowner associations from being overly nit-picky. And ensures that solar power customers receive a timely connection to the grid.
Removal of Discriminatory Solar Customer Fees
Some solar customers in Texas have struggled to get solar because of unnecessary fees. These fees make solar and other renewable energy options less appealing.
Senate Bill 2066 addresses unfair solar customer fees. In Section 6C of chapter 39, the bill addresses protections for energy generation and solar power storage customers.
This section restricts utilities from imposing a rate or charge that other customers don’t share across-the-board. It also prohibits electric providers from charging customers for disconnecting from their services. Lastly, it prohibits electric providers from overcharging for reconnecting to the grid.
Texas Solar Bill Passed Senate
Jose Menéndez, the representative for Texas Senate District 26, filled Senate Bill 2066 on March 7th, 2019. On May 1, the bill passed Senate and moved to House. However, with the 86th session coming to a close on the 27th of May, it seems the bill might stop in the House.
Next Steps Before the Bill Can Become Law
If the House doesn’t pass this bill and the governor doesn’t sign it into law by the 27th, this bill will not be passed. Those in support of the bill will have to wait until the next legislative session. In the new session, supporters can bring the bill before the house and senate for further review.
The Realities of Solar for Texans
Although this bill would be a nice addition, it isn’t the end of the world. Solar is still a viable option for many Texans.
How Texas is Fairing Without This Solar Bill
For those in areas such as San Antonio, where CPS Energy serves most, many of the protections in the bill have already been taken into consideration. CPS Energy’s solar customers receive the avoided cost for their excess generation. On top of this, they can qualify for a solar rebate.
CPS solar customers pay the same rate as any other customer and although application fees do apply, they are not extravagant.
If you are worried about being bamboozled by a solar company, look for valid certifications. Solar companies that are NABCEP-certified prove that the solar industry trusts them.
Another way you can guarantee a good deal is to get quotes from several Texas solar companies.