Solar Bill: E2SHB 2346 voted out of the State House; moves to the Senate

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Feb 11, 2016

The bill garnered broad bipartisan support, passing with a 77-20 vote. E2SHB 2346 is the result of three years of collaboration between installers, manufacturers, utilities, environmental groups, and legislators committed to the long-term, sustainable health of the solar industry in our state by modifying the current tax incentive program. The current program has supported widespread adoption of solar, but has outlived its usefulness. E2SHB 2346, the amended substitute bill, is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee on February 24 as of this writing. This substitute bill retains most of the elements of the original, but the proposed incentive rates have been significantly reduced in the amendment process. These lower rates could stall growth in the state’s solar industry.

 Solar stakeholders are urging state legislators to restore the incentive rates proposed in the original version of HB 2346 in order to prevent a potential contraction of a healthy Washington industry.

 According to a study prepared by the Center for Economic and Business Research at Western Washington University, Washington will continue to see a net economic benefit from a revised solar incentive program as prescribed in the original version of HB 2346. Every dollar the state invests in production incentive payments generates approximately $7 in payroll and $16 in local economic activity. A majority of the incentive is actually returned directly to the state in the form of taxes.

Now that the bill is in the Senate, ask your Senator to support increased incentive rates and to vote yes on E2SHB 2346.

About The Author - Jeremy Smithson

Started Puget Sound Solar in 2001 with 30 years of construction contracting experience, and a desire to turn Seattle on to solar energy. Achieving NABCEP certification in 2004, Jeremy believes that our customers often follow a path similar to the one he took, starting out with solar daydreaming, then progressing to education on the subject, and eventually leading to action. In addition to leading the company he also does some teaching and speaking engagements about various aspects of solar energy, and experiments relentlessly with various solar, energy efficiency, and electric vehicle projects.

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