In a settlement with SMW client the California Solar and Storage Association (CALSSA), a state licensing board rescinded regulations that would have prohibited solar contractors from installing solar panels paired with batteries for energy storage. The regulations would have been devastating to California’s solar contractors and their workers, as well as to consumers who […]
Housing affordability – whether buying or renting – remains a critical challenge for California cities and their residents. An April 2022 report from UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation found that a record number of Californians are housing cost burdened. State housing cost burdens have surged over the last two decades, with home […]
In late 2021, the California Energy Commission approved updates to California’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Energy Code), which regulate energy and water efficiency for newly constructed buildings. The Commission also approved energy-related updates to the California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen), which both mandates and encourages sustainable construction practices. Both sets of updated standards […]
SMW Partner Andrew Schwartz taught Land Use Law at UC Berkeley School of Law for the Spring Semester 2021-2022 and will repeat the class Spring Semester 2022-2023. Mr. Schwartz also teaches Land Use Law at Stanford Law School.
SMW partner Andrew Schwartz is once again teaching Land Use Law at Stanford Law School for the fall quarter 2021-2022. The course focuses on the pragmatic (more than theoretical) aspects of contemporary land use law and policy, including the tools and historical/legal foundation of modern land use law; zoning and General Plans; the process of land development; affordable housing; growth […]
In the late summer and fall in recent years, the power has been going out more often in California. Utilities are turning off residents’ power preemptively in unprecedented numbers. Energy storage systems owned by residents and public agencies, including those that are paired with solar generators, have the ability to safely provide power when the […]
In 2019 the Firm advises a number of local jurisdictions and NGOs, including the Building Decarbonization Coalition, the Rocky Mountain Institute, Redwood Energy, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Peninsula Clean Energy, the City of Cupertino, and the City of San Luis Obispo, on the authority of local jurisdictions to phase out natural gas in buildings. […]
The firm represents the Environmental Defense Fund in proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission, successfully advocating EDF’s position that utilities be required to implement best available technology and practices to reduce methane emissions from the natural gas distribution systems. In 2019 the Commission adopts a decision reducing utilities’ rate recovery for these emissions.
In 2019 the firm drafts, and advises the City of Cupertino in adopting, one of the first all-electric reach codes, dramatically reducing the carbon footprint of new construction that might otherwise be served by natural gas.
The firm prepares major updates to the Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s Model Interconnection Procedures in 2019. States across the country now look to this publication when seeking to improve the ability of distributed energy resources to access the grid.