SACREMENTO, Calif. - Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California has unveiled a plan to encourage installation of solar power systems on 1 million homes by 2017.

According to the governor, the new Million Homes Plan is designed to help the environment, offer homebuyers more choices, save them and all ratepayers money, and contribute to a more stable energy market.

The Million Homes Plan initially starts with the state's current incentives for solar power, but beginning in 2008, home builders will offer solar power as an option in any subdivision that has 25 houses or more. Customers who install solar power systems will pay a time-of-use rate, which can result in added savings, and will also be able to sell excess power back to the utility at the retail rate, a process known as net metering.

The program is projected to save California 2,700 megawatts of peaking power, and offset more than 50 million tons of CO2, the annual equivalent emission of 400,000 vehicles.

Publication date: 09/06/2004