Schwarzenegger Backs Ambitious Solar Plan for California

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is supporting proposed state legislation calling for the addition of solar energy systems to one million homes across California by 2017 to save electricity and cut pollution.

The legislation, initially proposed by State Senator Kevin Murray, would require home builders to offer solar panels, along with an estimate of costs and energy savings from installing them, as an option for new homes in California by 2008. Meanwhile, the state’s Energy Commission would provide rebates to offset the costs of photovoltaic solar panels.

“This proposal is about smart, innovative and environmentally friendly technologies that will help improve the state’s ability to meet peak electricity demand while cutting energy costs for homeowners for years to come,” says Schwarzenegger. Meanwhile, the governor’s office released statistics showing that the proposed program could save 2,700 megawatts of electricity during peak demand periods and offset more than 50 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

The proposed program, which would be funded by $200 million already approved by the state legislature for renewable technologies, could help California achieve its overall goal of deriving 20 percent of electricity statewide from renewable sources by 2017.