- Felicia Matlosz
(FRESNO, CA) - Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno), who authored Assembly Bill 1551, expressed appreciation to Governor Gavin Newsom for signing the bill into law. The legislation will protect vulnerable residents from fraudulent practices involving solar panel installations and other energy efficient measures.
With Governor Newsom’s signature, the law goes into effect January 1, 2021.
Arambula said the bill grew out of complaints that his office began receiving in 2018 regarding high-pressure, unethical tactics undertaken by certain third-party contractors and installers exploiting senior citizens and low-income residents.
“The stories we heard were disturbing and worrisome. These unscrupulous contractors and installers were taking advantage of trusting residents,” Arambula said. “AB 1551 requires clear disclosures and contract language, so we anticipate this law will put a stop to these nefarious practices.”
News of Governor Newsom signing the bill was welcomed by those who strongly supported the legislation, including Martha Guzman Aceves, a Commissioner on the California Public Utilities Commission, and Lourdes “Lulu” Oliva, Community Organizer for the Dolores Huerta Foundation.
Oliva said: “Protecting our small-town families and seniors from fast-talking contractors, who also work as salespeople, from life-changing financial responsibility is the least we can do for them. AB 1551 ensures that we protect these consumers from savvy sales tactics from unethical PACE vendors.”
PACE is the Property Assessed Clean Energy program, which enables homeowners to finance energy and water efficient home upgrades such as solar panels.
Commissioner Guzman Aceves said: “This bill makes common sense reforms that the troubled world of PACE assessments unfortunately needs, and that will help make sure that all Californians benefit by going green, especially those who have the most to gain.”