Representative Dennis Cardona of California reintroduced his Solar Opportunity and Local Access Rights or SOLAR Act in Congress recently. This bill would protect the rights of the homeowners to create their own electricity via solar power.
The SOLAR Act’s goal is to cut through the red tape that prevents homeowners across the United States to generate their own solar power and decrease their utility bills. The bill would allow the homeowners to sell excess electricity back to the grid and remove the barriers that hinder the construction and implementation of solar power infrastructures. The passage of the bill will create a Center for Advanced Solar Research that would develop solar technology and generate new green energy jobs.
Included in the bill is the provision for net metering of the energy produced from residential and commercial solar energy systems. Net metering gives the homeowners the opportunity to generate their own power through renewable energy sources and sell the excess electricity back to the main grid.
This goes both ways. When homeowners need additional electricity, they can buy from the utility company. Net metering records the production and purchase of the household and computes the difference. That way the homeowners would be credited for the energy they give back to the grid.
The SOLAR Act would be a welcome legislation because at present there’s no national net metering policy. This would attract more homeowners to install solar power systems in their homes.
Saving money is just one benefit of installing solar panels in one’s home. A recent study found out that solar power installations can increase the value of the house. Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory looked at home sales in California and concluded that homes with PV systems are sold at a higher price than those without solar power installations.
The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory said that grid-connected solar power systems in the United States produce at least 2,100 megawatts of electricity. Half of the total comes from the State of California.
Rep. Cardoza’s measure would encourage more homeowners to install solar panels in the roofs of their houses. The SOLAR Act will curb the practices that would prevent the use of solar technology. The new bill would streamline the installation process by limiting the local and state governments from charging high fees for building permits. It would also prevent homeowner associations from stopping its members access to solar energy systems.