Report: Wolk Community Shared Solar Bill Would Boost California Jobs, Economy

SB 843 Would Drive 12,000 Local Jobs, $7.5 Billion in Economic Activity by Expanding Consumer Access to the State’s Growing Renewable Energy Market

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--()--California legislation to expand access to solar and other renewables would create thousands of local jobs and deliver tremendous economic benefits to the state according to a new report released today by Vote Solar, a non-profit grassroots organization.

Clean energy is one of the fastest growing sectors of California’s economy, yet three out of four energy customers - including the state’s millions of renters - are unable to generate their own on-site power from solar, wind and other renewables. Senate Bill 843 seeks to offer those customers a new path to clean energy and spur additional private sector investment and job growth in California’s clean energy sector. Without requiring any public funding, the bill is expected to deploy 2-gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy capacity, equivalent to 4 conventional fossil fuel power plants and approximately double the amount of rooftop solar currently installed in the state.

“This legislation expands consumer access to renewable energy, giving Californians the opportunity to save on their energy bills,” said bill author Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis), who has worked to increase consumer access to clean, renewable energy throughout her time in the State Legislature. “It also encourages more investment and creates local jobs in an important sector of our state’s economy, all without spending any state funds. And everyone gets to breathe cleaner air. It's a win-win for California.”

“In very real terms, SB 843 would be the job creation equivalent of one of California’s largest employers, putting more people to work in the state than Cisco or Applied Materials,” said Hannah Masterjohn, Policy Advocate at Vote Solar and primary author of the report. “By simply enabling more Californians to invest in and receive the benefits of renewable energy systems, the state can unleash tremendous economic activity without using any precious state funds.”

As today’s report demonstrates, the economic benefits to California of an additional 2 GW of local clean power are tremendous. Specifically, SB 843 would deliver:

  • At least 12,000 direct and induced local jobs. This bill would create thousands of construction-related jobs each year, in addition to long term operations and maintenance jobs. These are high quality local employment opportunities across a broad range of education requirements, salary levels and fields. This bill represents an opportunity for thousands of Californians to secure well-paid employment in an industry with solid growth projections.
  • $230 million in tax revenues. The sales tax on renewable energy systems installed under SB 843 would provide much needed revenue for the state of California.
  • $7.5 billion in total economic output. This includes wages, salaries and revenues that can be reinvested into the state economy, creating a significant new economic engine for California.

About SB 843:

SB 843, authored by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis), proposes a new way for Californian homes, businesses, schools and public agencies to harness renewable energy. It would establish a framework for shared community renewable energy systems for customers of the state’s major utilities: PG&E, SCE and SDG&E. Customers who choose to participate would receive credit on their utility bills for their portion of the clean power generated, much as if those renewable energy systems were located at their own home or business.

Report Methodology:

To assess California’s SB 843 opportunity, Vote Solar used the Job and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) model developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The analysis used inputs and assumptions drawn from real-world experience of California solar installers and global market data.

The full report is available at:

Visit the SB 843 campaign website:

About Vote Solar:

The Vote Solar Initiative (Vote Solar) is a non-profit grassroots organization working to fight climate change and foster economic opportunity by bringing solar energy into the mainstream. Since 2002 Vote Solar has engaged in state, local and federal campaigns to remove regulatory barriers and implement the key policies needed to bring solar to scale.


The Vote Solar Initiative
Rosalind Jackson, 415-817-5061

Release Summary

California legislation to expand access to solar and other renewables would create thousands of local jobs and deliver tremendous economic benefits to the state according to a new report.


The Vote Solar Initiative
Rosalind Jackson, 415-817-5061