Renewable Energy Advocates Applaud Introduction of Bill to Accelerate Adoption of Residential Solar
Bill Would Support Gov. Moore’s Efforts to Meeting Ambitious Climate Agenda
HANOVER, MD (February 16, 2023) – Today, a coalition of rooftop solar advocates, workforce development groups, energy equity champions, and renewable energy companies launched a campaign to advocate for legislation that would make solar power more accessible and affordable for all Marylanders. Sponsored by Maryland Senator Brian J. Feldman and Delegate Lily Qi, Senate Bill 664 (SB0664) and House Bill 1239 (HB1239), would increase the state’s residential clean energy grant from $1,000 to $5,000 to incentivize rooftop solar installations for Maryland residents, create local clean energy jobs, and meet the state’s climate goals.
As Maryland Governor Wes Moore strives to meet some of the most ambitious clean energy standards in the country, the Maryland Rooftop Solar Coalition highlights the critical role rooftop solar will play in meeting those goals. This bill would fund rooftop solar grants through fees and penalties paid by companies that do not meet the state’s clean energy requirements, minimizing the cost to taxpayers and ensuring those fees are directed toward promoting renewable energy. It would also enhance clean energy incentives for low- and moderate-income residents, as well as those living in overburdened and underserved communities.
Incentivizing the adoption of residential rooftop solar will be crucial to achieving Maryland’s climate goals while preserving Maryland’s limited natural resources. The recently passed Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022 set a statewide goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 60% below 2006 levels by 2032 and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. Providing equitable access to solar energy will also be a key aspect of expanding clean energy usage and cutting emissions, which will require outreach and assistance for low- and moderate-income families who have been disproportionately burdened by legacy polluting fossil fuel infrastructure.
“Maryland has set some of the nation’s most ambitious goals for reducing emissions and achieving climate equity. We cannot meet our state’s ambitious goals unless we make it easier for Maryland residents to enjoy the economic and environmental benefits of clean energy,” said Maryland State Senator Brian Feldman, sponsor of SB0664. “With this bill we have an opportunity to reboot Maryland’s rooftop solar industry and create thousands of jobs in the process, while providing incentives that make solar power more accessible to lower-income households.”
“Expanding residential solar is an opportunity for Maryland to address the climate crisis while creating jobs and boosting our state’s economic competitiveness,” said Maryland Delegate Lily Qi, sponsor of HB1239. “This bill moves us toward Maryland’s ambitious climate goals in a way that is inclusive of households of all income levels and makes clean energy accessible to the communities who have disproportionately been affected by rising energy costs.”
“While we’ve seen growth in the utility scale solar market in Maryland since the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act passed in 2019, residential solar continues to lag behind despite playing a critical role in meeting the state’s climate goals,” said Ed Merrick, Chair of the Maryland Rooftop Solar Coalition. “We need to rebuild this industry and do it in way that includes all Marylanders by leveraging our existing built infrastructure. Incentivizing the installation of residential rooftop solar through the state’s existing grant program will help make clean energy more accessible and affordable for all Maryland residents, regardless of their financial status. We greatly appreciate the leadership of Senator Feldman and Delegate Qi in recognizing the importance of Maryland rooftop clean energy jobs and the need to build back this segment of the solar industry in order to serve all Marylanders with clean, reliable solar energy.”
"Residential solar is a vital energy resource that empowers Maryland homeowners to reduce their utility bills, build resilience from power outages, and gain energy independence,” said Kimberly Armstrong, Maryland Program Director, Solar United Neighbors (SUN). “Rooftop solar is a shining example of how to utilize and produce homegrown clean energy that directly benefits local residents and communities. Solar is an abundant solution that will help Maryland put an end to its dependence on dirty, expensive energy that is vulnerable to inflation forces and foreign disruption.”
Maryland Rooftop Solar Coalition (MRSC), est. 2022, is comprised of companies that finance, sell, design, and install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems with the objective of reviving the rooftop solar market in the state. Coalition members include Solar Energy World, Trinity Solar, GoodLeap, Sunnova, Dividend Finance, Lumina Solar, IGS, SunPower, Sunrun, ADT, Solar United Neighbors, and Solar Energy Services, Inc., all who are dedicated to the solar industry in Maryland and the importance of combating climate change. For more on MRSC, visit https://www.marylandrooftopsolarcoalition.org/.