Open Neighborhoods and PermaCity are co-presenting a free reception with the Solar Gardens Institute from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20 at Working Village, 212 Marine St, Santa Monica.

The goal of the event is to raise awareness of California’s pending “solar gardens” legislation, Senate Bill 843. Anticipated to come up for a vote in January, the bill would allow renters and others who do not have an appropriate roof for solar power to purchase or lease solar panels in a shared solar facility in the community and receive energy cost savings as if the panels were located on their own rooftops.

Open Neighborhoods was founded in 2008 in Mar Vista with a mission to connect and inform neighborhoods with local social networking, open Internet access and clean energy programs.

Joy Hughes from the Solar Gardens Institute in Colorado has been invited to the reception to present a breakdown and comparison between California’s proposed SB 843 legislation to Colorado’s Community Solar Gardens Act of 2010.

A panel discussion on SB 843 is also planned with Susan Munves, the energy and green building programs administrator for the city of Santa Monica, and Mary Leslie of the Los Angeles Business Council.