Bullock introduces legislation to increase access to solar energy

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 21 – State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., has introduced legislation (H.B. 1799) that would make solar energy more accessible to low-income and disadvantaged Pennsylvanians. Bullock announced the introduction of this bill today at a joint news conference with PECO.

“Many families in Philadelphia are forced to choose between heating their homes and what’s for dinner,” Bullock said. “While there are other, more energy-efficient alternatives, these options are simply out of reach for many of our residents. Instead of thinking about alternative energy, they may be struggling to repair a leaky roof or are fighting to keep the lights on.”

House Bill 1799 would allow utility companies like PECO to own and operate Pennsylvania-based solar sites and provide solar energy to low-income residents at a discounted rate. Under Act 213 of 2004, Pennsylvania electric distribution companies and electric generation suppliers are required to produce 18 percent of electricity through alternative resources by the year 2021.

“House Bill 1799 would make solar energy more accessible to all Pennsylvanians – no matter how much they make or what their credit score is,” Bullock said. “Investing in solar energy has the potential to transform our lives, improve our neighborhoods and energize our economy. It can also remove the perception that solar energy is only reserved for the wealthy.”

The average cost for solar installation ranges from $15,000 to $29,000. Although prices for solar panels have fallen and government subsidies can cover up to 30 percent of the costs, prices remain out of reach for countless Pennsylvanians. Bullock said investing in solar energy would reduce the average cost of utilities for many residents in the long run.

“It’s time to level the playing field and increase access to one of our planet’s cleanest and most sustainable renewable resource,” Bullock added.

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