ASSEMBLY, No. 266

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2012 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  ROBERT SCHROEDER

District 39 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  JASON O'DONNELL

District 31 (Hudson)

Assemblyman  DAVID C. RUSSO

District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires identifying emblems on certain structures to notify firefighters of solar panels; requires exterior disconnection for solar panels.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act concerning fire safety, supplementing Title 52 of the Revised Statutes, and amending P.L.2009, c.33. 

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  (New section) The Commissioner of Community Affairs, in consultation with the Board of Public Utilities, shall adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), standards requiring that a solar energy system that is affixed to any newly constructed or currently existing structure be equipped with a device capable of disconnecting the system at a readily accessible location that is in close proximity to the meter on the exterior of the structure.

 

     2.  (New section) As used in this section, “solar panel” means an elevated panel or plate, or a canopy or array thereof, that captures and converts solar radiation to produce power, and includes flat plate, focusing solar collectors, or photovoltaic solar cells and excludes the base or foundation of the panel, plate, canopy, or array.

     The Commissioner of Community Affairs shall, pursuant to the authority under the "Uniform Fire Safety Act," P.L.1983, c.383 (C.52:27D-192 et seq.), promulgate rules and regulations to require that an identifying emblem be affixed to the front of a structure if a solar system is affixed to the roof of that structure.  The emblem shall be permanently affixed to the left of the main entrance door at a height between one to four feet above the ground or in the vicinity of any other identifying emblem affixed pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1991, c.188 (C.52:27D-198.4) and shall be installed and maintained by the owner of the structure.  The emblem shall be of a bright and reflective color, or made of reflective material.  The shape of the emblem shall be an isosceles triangle and the size shall be 12 inches horizontally by 6 inches vertically.  The letters “S/P”, of a size and color to make them conspicuous, shall be printed on the emblem to signify that solar panels are affixed to the roof of the structure. 

     This act shall be enforced in accordance with enforcement procedures set forth in P.L.1983, c.383 (C.52:27D-192 et seq.). 

 

     3.  Section 7 of P.L.2009, c.33 (C.52:27D-141.7)  is amended to read as follows: 

     7.  a.  The commissioner, in consultation with the Board of Public Utilities, shall adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), standards with respect to the technical sufficiency of solar energy systems to be installed pursuant to this act.  These standards, at a minimum, shall provide:

     (1)   that the solar energy system is to be installed in conformance with the manufacturer's specifications and in compliance with all applicable electrical and building code standards;

     (2)   that the solar energy system is intended primarily to offset part or all of the consumer's own electricity demand;

     (3)   that all components in the solar energy system are to be new and unused, and shall not have previously been placed in service in any other location or for any other application;

     (4)   that the solar energy system shall have a warranty of not less than 10 years provided by the solar energy system manufacturer, and shall be subject to coverage afforded under "The New Home Warranty and Builders' Registration Act," P.L.1977, c.467 (C.46:3B-1 et seq.) to protect the integrity of the roof of the home and to protect against defects and undue degradation of electrical generation output;

     (5)   that the solar energy system shall have meters or other devices in place to monitor and measure the system's performance and the quantity of electricity generated by the system;

     (6)   that the solar energy system shall comply with adopted energy codes for the dwelling unit where the solar energy system is installed;

     (7)   for rating criteria for equipment, components, and systems to assure reasonable performance and criteria for complying with these minimum ratings;

     (8)   that the solar energy system shall be consistent with the net metering standards and safety and power quality interconnection standards adopted by the Board of Public Utilities pursuant to subsection e. of section 38 of P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-87); [and]

     (9)   for the criteria by which the technical feasibility of the installation of a solar energy system is determined in section 4 of this act; and

     (10) that the solar energy system be equipped with a device capable of disconnecting the system at a readily accessible location that is in close proximity to the meter on the exterior of the dwelling unit.

     b.    The commissioner, in consultation with the Board of Public Utilities, shall:

     (1)   publish educational materials designed to demonstrate how developers may incorporate solar energy systems during construction as well as energy efficiency measures that best complement solar energy systems; and

     (2)   provide developers with information concerning any applicable credits, rebates, or other incentives that may be available
for the installation of solar energy systems.

(cf:  P.L.2009, c.33, s.7) 

 

     4.  This act shall take effect immediately. 

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires that an identifying emblem displaying the letters “S/P” be placed next to the main entrance of a building if solar panels are attached to the roof of that building.  Current law requires identifying emblems with truss construction display the letter “F” to signify a floor with truss construction; “R” to signify a roof with truss construction; or “F/R” to signify both a floor and roof with truss construction.  This bill requires an additional emblem with the letters “S/P” to signify “solar panels” be placed to the left of the main entrance of any structure that has solar panels affixed to its roof. 

     In addition, this bill requires that all existing and newly constructed buildings that have solar panels be equipped with an external shut-off switch.  The purpose of this bill is to protect the safety of firefighters who respond to an emergency call at a home that has solar panels.