Statement: House solar bill is “outrageous,” officials must do better

For Immediate Release

Boston — As the Massachusetts House considers legislation today to lift the caps on solar net metering, Environment Massachusetts State Director Ben Hellerstein issued the following statement:

“State leaders have had more than seven months to consider how best to expand solar energy in Massachusetts. The fact that House Bill 3854 is what they’ve come up with is outrageous.

“This bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Under the guise of a minor lift to the solar caps, it would slam the brakes on solar by making major, unjustified cuts to the compensation for solar energy. It would reduce access to the tbenefits of solar, making it harder for renters, low-income communities, and families whose roofs aren’t suitable for solar panels to power their homes with clean energy.

“We know solar energy enjoys broad public support. Just yesterday, we helped organize a rally that brought more than 100 solar supporters to the State House. And we delivered letters from more than 1,000 civic and business leaders and petitions signed by more than 8,000 grassroots supporters urging state officials to expand opportunities for solar power. But it seems like House leaders would rather listen to a few powerful lobbyists from the utility companies than the vast majority of Massachusetts residents who support solar.

“For the sake of our environment and our communities, we need to move as quickly as possible to power our state with 100% clean, renewable energy, and solar has a critical role to play. Fortunately, House and Senate officials still have the opportunity to fix the bill and pass an urgently needed lift to the net metering caps before the Legislature wraps up for the year.”

###

Environment Massachusetts is a statewide, citizen-supported environmental advocacy organization working to protect clean air, clean water, and open space.