Since the Million Solar Roofs bill was shot down in the final hours of the 2004-05 legislative session, proponents are focusing on the California Public Utilities Commission, which has the authority to create a program that mirrors much of the once-bipartisan legislation, SB 1 (<i>Circuit<\/i>, Sept. 9, 2005). "I've committed the CPUC to exploring" a regulatory version of Million Solar Roofs and will get back to the governor "within 90 days," said Mike Peevey, CPUC president, this week. The California Energy Commission "is also committed, so that's moving forward," added CEC chair Joe Desmond. The CPUC staff is not ready to talk about a regulatory version of the bill. However, a June order by Peevey appears to provide a road map of an administrative program to supplant SB 1, dubbed the California Solar Initiative. The regulatory initiative seeks to create 3,000 MW of solar power with subsidies over 10 years. Qualifying technologies are presumably photovoltaics, "concentrated solar power up to 1 MW," which seems to have Stirling dish technology written all over it, as well as solar water heaters. The solar energy incentives in investor-owned utilities' territory would be funded through 2016 by increases in the distribution rates portion of consumers' bills. Close to $1 billion has been spent subsidizing the solar power industry over eight years, and installed solar costs have not dropped much, nor is the market yet self-sustaining, the order states. "California policies are clearly supportive of the on-grid solar market, but that support was unevenly distributed and often unavailable," it adds. California installed 36 MW of solar generation last year, compared to 900 MW worldwide. Issues that will need to be resolved include which entity or entities will administer the solar program. Net metering—the ability of solar owners to get credit for feeding electricity back into the grid—also needs to be expanded. Peevey's order states that investor-owned utilities would "initially" administer the solar program. Currently, there are caps on distributed generation in the investor-owned utilities' regions, and a statutory increase would be needed if the solar initiative comes to fruition. SB 1 sought to expand net metering for solar power to 5 percent of power demand to allow owners to fully reap the benefit of their on-site systems (<i>Circuit<\/i>, Sept. 2, 2005). According to the June 16 order, the program aims to bring the costs of solar energy technologies down. It imagines that new incentives will be performance-based, instead of capacity-based. "This approach allows commercial projects to further leverage the federal tax credits (worth about 50 percent on the system cost) and reduces incentive program funding needed by over 25 percent to achieve the same economic benefit to customers," it states. The order also proposes to initially limit incentives to installed solar systems of up to 1 MW. That would head off large commercial systems from consuming the lion's share of the designated funds. A proposed decision on the initiative is expected later this year.