Friday, October 23, 2020

House Committee Hears Comments On Bill Authorizing Local Solar Energy Subscriber Programs

On October 21, the
House Consumer Affairs Committee held a hearing House Bill 1970 (Mizgorski-R- Allegheny) authorizing electric utilities to establish local solar energy subscriber programs (sponsor summary).

On September 1, the Committee held a hearing on another bipartisan local solar energy bill-- House Bill 531 (Kaufer-R-Luzerne)-- which would establish a community solar energy program allowing neighbors, businesses, farms, and other community members to directly participate in and receive the benefits from a solar project connected to their local electric distribution company’s grid.   Read more here.

Steven Malnight, President & CEO of Duquesne Light Company, said his company supports House Bill 1970 because it delivers what many customers demand-- clean energy-- and his company can reduce carbon emissions at the same time.

Malnight called House Bill 531 a “boon for developers,” which he said would hold utilities responsible for unsubscribed energy and unpaid subscription fees which could raise rates for all utility customers.

Terry Fitzpatrick, President & CEO of the Energy Association of PA, said House Bill 1970 does not push additional costs on non-solar customers and is better designed than House Bill 531 authorizing community solar programs.

He said a controversial net metering policy adopted when the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards were passed in 2004 shifts $16 to $24 million in costs to over customers not participating in renewable electricity generation.

Shelby Linton-Keddie, Edison Electric Institute, provided the Committee with a national perspective on what some other states are doing on this issue.  She too favored House Bill 1970 over House Bill 531 because it does not shift costs onto nonparticipating customers.

Also submitting comments to the Committee were Becky Campbell, First Solar, and the Retail Energy Supply Association.

Click Here to watch a video of the hearing.

Rep. Brad Roae (R-Crawford) serves as Majority Chair of the Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-787-2353 or sending email to:   Rep. Robert Matzie (D-Beaver) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-787-4444 or sending email to:

(Photo: Keystone Solar Farm in Lancaster County, Community Energy.)

Related Articles - Community Solar:

-- House Hearing: $2 Billion In Community Solar Projects, Family Farms Waiting For Passage Of Bipartisan Legislation That Costs Taxpayers Nothing

--New Poll Shows Bipartisan Support Across Pennsylvania For Passage Of Community Solar Bill

-- PA Conservative Energy Forum Clean & Renewable Energy Is Essential To National Security Town Hall With Dr. John Lehman Now Available On Demand 

-- Republicans On House Environmental Committee OK Bill To Slow Down Solar Energy

-- Sen. Yaw (R) Wants To Load Up Solar Energy Projects With Bonds; Will Kill $2 Billion In Private Solar Investment, Hurt Family Farms, Increase Electricity Costs

[Posted: October 23, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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