Property tax bills can be a vehicle for financing efficiency improvements, Standard Solar and Standard Energy Solutions employees testify
ANNAPOLIS, Md., March 12 – Employees of Standard Solar, Inc. and Standard Energy Solutions this week called on the Maryland General Assembly to pass legislation enabling counties and municipalities to offer property owners the opportunity to finance energy efficiency improvements through their property tax bills.
Delegate Sue Hecht, D-Frederick County, and Sen. Thomas M. Middleton, D-Charles County are attracting widespread for their “Clean Energy Loan” proposals as a means of getting counties and property owners to think differently about efficiency improvements and, where prudent, investments in solar and other renewable energy systems.
“Clean Energy Loan Programs can help homeowners and businesses overcome several hurdles in assessing and paying for better windows, more efficient heating and cooling systems, improved insulation and other upgrades while improving their cash flow, generating in-state jobs and reducing the state’s reliance on dirty, costly and often volatile sources of fossil fuels,” said Standard Solar Chief Executive Officer Anthony Clifford.
Clifford and Standard Solar Vice President Jim Pierobon testified Tuesday in Annapolis before the state’s Senate Finance Committee and House Economic Matters committees along with Standard Energy Solutions energy analyst Zach Bidle and solar installer Braxton Proctor.
Hecht, who serves on the House Economic Matters Committee, is the lead sponsor of House Bill 1014; Middleton, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is the lead sponsor of the companion legislation, Senate Bill 720. The full House is expected to vote on the measure first in the coming weeks, followed by action in the Senate. The General Assembly is expected to be in session through the second week of April.
Zach Bidle, a certified energy auditor at Standard Energy Solutions, told lawmakers “perhaps the single most important benefit of Clean Energy Loans is how they help homeowners recoup their efficiency investments. Because investments are paid for through property tax assessments, any remaining obligation remains with the property, not with the previous property owner.”
Braxton Proctor, a solar installer at Standard Solar, sees Clean Energy Loans helping address Marylanders’ growing appetite for ways to help pay for solar panel systems. He said he is often approached while on the roofs of customers’ homes by neighbors seeking information about ways to finance energy improvements. “We can and should do more to get homeowners the information and the financing tools they need,” Proctor said.
While providing a boost to the job-creating engine that clean energy is becoming in Maryland, the legislation would offer counties and municipalities the option of delegating administration of these loans to the new Maryland Clean Energy Center. Already, at least six municipalities in Prince George’s County, Maryland have made such a request.
Annapolis, Maryland recently launched a similar program under the “EZ” – for Energy Zone – nameplate. Montgomery County, Maryland is completing work on its program, to be called “HELP,” for Home Energy Loan Program.
Maryland would be come the 19th state to formally pass such authorizing legislation, according to testimony. Berkeley, California and Boulder, Colorado also have similar programs underway.
For more information, contact: Jim Pierobon, email@example.com or 240-479-1517.
About Standard Energy Solutions
Standard Energy Solutions is an Building Performance Institute-certified energy auditor and EPA Energy Star-certified contractor currently serving the metropolitan Washington, DC area and a growing number of states throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. It offers comprehensive building testing, monitoring and modeling services for residential and commercial energy improvements. For more information, please visit www.StandardEnergySolutions.com.
About Standard Solar
Standard Solar, Inc. is a leading installer of solar electric systems. The company designs, sells and installs high quality custom solar electric systems, providing solar solutions to residential, commercial and government customers throughout the Mid-Atlantic. In addition, it offers professional audit & weatherization services. Customer satisfaction drives every aspect of the company’s operation to deliver superb service and high value from their system. For more information, please visit www.standardsolar.com.
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