Housing developments and businesses can’t grow without accurate commitments for power
SACRAMENTO–Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) has introduced AB 50, legislation to ensure that when large electric corporations commit to delivering power to customers, a meaningful estimated timeframe for interconnectivity is provided.
“California desperately needs new housing requiring new electric connections and my bill supports that by addressing the real and significant obstacles of interconnectivity delays,” said Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg). “The goal is to get to the root of these delays and make significant improvements to the planning and communication processes required among the many parties to make it happen. We can’t reach our housing and climate goals and expand local economies if utility companies can’t meet the demand for electricity when it is required.”
AB 50 attempts to reevaluate and update the planning process large electric corporations use and facilitate better communication with local and state governments ensuring that granular capacity data is shared among all parties. Currently, customers for new service apply to the utility and pay a significant fee, up to tens of thousands of dollars, before their projects begin. In turn, large electric corporations provide “will serve” letters to customers indicating when service will be available.
“Decades ago, these will serve letters may have been adequate, but as we strive to advance housing development and business expansion, what’s really happening is developers and businesses are investing huge amounts of money with a promise that service will align with project completion only to find out it will be many months or years before their houses and businesses can be occupied,” said Wood. “Will serve then becomes will serve, eventually, and that doesn’t help California meet its urgent need for housing, not to mention our imperative climate goals.”
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