Let the Sun Shine In – Support HB874

You may know that the price of solar power is falling and that demand for solar – like demand for other clean, renewable energy sources – is growing (see my November 13 blog entry for details). Perhaps the biggest barrier to solar energy growth in Georgia is the dearth of flexible financing options to pay for solar installations. Upfront costs for solar arrays are hefty – so much so that it keeps many interested, middle-income folks from installing solar panels/shingles/etc.

Financing Options Crucial to Solar Adoption
Help may be on the way in the form of Georgia HB874: The Solar Power Free-Market Financing and Property Rights Act of 2014. This bill, which is currently in the Georgia House Energy Committee, would allow an array of creative financing options: options that make solar feasible for people who fall into the $40,000 – $70,000 per year income range. To quote the bill, “solar technology and its installation may be financed by the retail electric customer through a solar financing agent utilizing a loan, lease, power purchase agreement, or any other form of financing agreement.”

The bill further states “no electric utility shall prevent or otherwise interfere with the installation or financing of solar technology by a retail electric customer through a solar financing agent.” 

Other States Allow Solar Leases and ESCOs – Why Not Georgia?
Two words: Georgia Power. I don’t hate Georgia Power, but as a consumer and a homeowner, I want the choice to explore financing options that would allow me to install solar panels on my roof – financing options that are working quite well in several other states.

I support clean energy, and I support personal choice. If you feel similarly, I hope you will contact your state representatives and urge them to support HB874.

Read HB874 for yourself at:

http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20132014/HB/874

It’s a short read. I promise.

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