Thursday, July 23, 2009

Athens Making Great Strides for Alternative Energy Legislation in Ohio

Recently, The City of Athens aided in securing passage of state laws that will allow municipal governments around the state to offer special funding support for the development of solar energy projects. When implemented, the program will increase the scope of solar energy utilization by Ohio residents. Designed to utilize existing state and federal incentives, this new law will significantly reduce the cost for both solar electric and solar hot water systems through the development of a revolving loan fund.

Athens City Council member Elahu Gosney and City Council Aide Gary Houser spent significant time researching successful models in California and Colorado. With the help of State Senator Jimmy Stewart (Rep.) and State Representative Debbie Phillips (Dem.) the group was able to succeed in passing the legislation.

The City of Athens is currently wrapping up the development of its own municipal program based on the new legislation, a project called the Athens Solar Initiative. By setting up a revolving loan fund the city will offer financing for solar energy projects to eligible Athens residents.

"The greatest obstacle that has kept homeowners from installing solar energy systems has been the high upfront cost. This legislation allows our program to remove this barrier. What is truly ground-breaking about the Athens Solar Initiative is that now, for the first time in Ohio, there is a clear role local governments can take to promote and finance residential solar energy. Once a revolving loan fund is started, it becomes self-sustaining and able to fund renewable energy projects for years to come. The Athens Solar Initiative will clearly demonstrate that climate action at the local level can create high-quality green jobs in Ohio and increase property value for homeowners, all while we fulfill our responsibility to decrease greenhouse gas emissions."

Click here to download the full press release.


Anonymous said...

This is great news about great work done. I can't help wondering, though, about the implications for incentivizing conservation and energy efficiency improvements. I would have liked to see the program address both renewables and conservation with the same funding opportunity. :^) Teny Bannick

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