A scaled down solar bill made it through the Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee to allow homeowners with rooftop photovoltaic systems to enjoy more economic benefits. The bill, AB 1920, authored by Assemblymember Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), aims to allow homeowners to roll over any excess power generated by their systems for credit against their power bills in future years. Homeowners also could have the alternative of accepting payment for the power from their utility, which then could claim credit for it under the state\u2019s renewables portfolio standard. Under the current California Solar Initiative program, any power produced by systems beyond what is needed to \u201czero out\u201d utility bills in a calendar year must be surrendered to utilities for use on the grid. This perverse incentive has resulted in homeowners buying extra appliances or running their air conditioners more to use up the excess power to avoid surrendering it for free to utilities, according to Bernadette del Chiaro, Environment California clean energy advocate. \u201cCustomers should get a fair rate of return for power they put on the grid,\u201d said Huffman. Originally the bill would have let homeowners place oversized systems on their rooftops to generate excess power, which utilities would have been mandated to buy. However, under the amendments, homeowners remain under current limits that restrain the size of the systems to a capacity that is supposed to do no more than zero out their annual electricity bills. \u201cWe\u2019re hearing oversized systems are being installed,\u201d said Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) in arguing to retain the size limit. A California Public Utilities Commission staff member suggested that system sizing remains an \u201cinexact science\u201d and noted that solar systems often are installed in conjunction with energy efficiency measures in homes that reduce their traditional power loads. The panel also approved a measure authored by Assemblymember Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), AB 2863. It allows solar companies to install systems on rooftops of residences, condos, and apartment buildings and sell the power to building owners under power purchase agreements. The bill outlines numerous consumer protection oriented disclosures. The CPUC opposes the bill, indicating that it appears to allow home owners direct access to power generators, a practice that has been suspended in California. Leno pledged to work with commission and lawmakers to iron out differences. The panel also passed AB 2466, authored by Assemblymember John Laird (D-Monterey). It allows local governments to install solar systems on remote structures or facilities, such as parking garages, to offset power use at other municipal facilities, for instance a city hall or recreation center. Sempra Energy opposes the measure, calling it a form of direct access. The panel backed a bill, AB 2768, authored by Assemblymember Mel Levine (D-Van Nuys) to remove time of use metering on solar homes and replace it with a formula worked out by the CPUC. The formula was designed to eliminate penalties that result in some cases when homeowners install solar panels and have to shift from a tiered rate to real time rate structure. Other measures were passed to ease the way for solar energy on school campuses and within the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power service area, as well as to promote energy efficiency.