Environment Texas is encouraging the Texas Legislature to pass legislation aimed at incentivizing solar power usage statewide.
The clean energy advocate held a public meeting with members from the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday afternoon to discuss some suggestions of policies being used here in San Antonio and in Austin, that can be implemented in other areas of the state to increase our solar installation.
"San Antonio is doing an incredible job of installing solar by providing rebates to help people install solar in their homes, schools and businesses, " said Luke Metzger, Director of Environment Texas.
A recently released report from Environment Texas claims that utilities in San Antonio and Austin have supported the installation of four times more solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity than the rest of Texas combined, with 85 percent of the state's total coming from the two cities.
The group encouraged the State House and Senate to approve a number of House and Senate Bills aimed at updating the Texas' Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing law, in order to enable leaders to offer commercial and residential property owners a secure and long-term financing option for solar systems.
"Those two bills would help create an innovative financing program, where basically the local taxing district or city could provide that up front capital to install solar on a businesses rooftop," said Metzger. "And then the business or resident could pay it back through their property taxes."
Environment Texas also recommended that the legislature establish funding to help schools install solar, and also adopt statewide standards, like those of CPS Energy's, that ensure homeowners and small businesses are fairly compensated for any amount of excess solar electricity they generate to the ERCOT grid.
"If we do a big program to get solar on schools, we could also attract new manufacturers and new jobs, and really make Texas a leader for solar energy," said Metzger.
By: Marissa A. Wagner
Thursday, February 14, 2013