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Bill Would Let Westchester Residents Tap Into Solar Power

SCARSDALE, N.Y. -- A new energy bill was approved Tuesday, June 3, by the state Assembly Energy Committee that will allow homeowners and renters access to solar power.

The Shared Clean Energy Bill (A.9931) will give millions of New Yorkers who previously had no way of accessing solar power the opportunity to use solar energy.

“Today solar is creating thousands of jobs in New York and pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into our economy all while building a cleaner, more resilient energy supply," said Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, D-88, Energy Committee chair and bill sponsor. "Yet a majority of our residents and businesses cannot participate in that growing solar marketplace simply because they do not own rooftops that are suitable for solar. This bill would make solar an option for renters and millions of other New Yorkers for the first time, in turn delivering more solar benefits to our state.”

Currently, many New York state residents – among them families, renters, businesses housed in multiunit buildings and homeowners with shaded roofs – cannot use rooftop solar energy. The new bill will allow customers to subscribe to a local energy project located somewhere else close to their community and receive credit on their utility bill in return.

“I've never been prouder to call myself a New Yorker as leader after leader steps forward on behalf of health and economic opportunity for all," said actor Mark Ruffalo, a solar energy advocate. "The Shared Renewables Bill is moving forward with strong leadership in and outside Albany, but most importantly, it is moving forward on a road that ALL New Yorkers can walk, with access to stable, clean and affordable solar energy to power their homes and places of business, whether owned or leased.”

New York State is in the top 10 of the nation’s solar markets. Its solar industry employs 5,000 New Yorkers, ranking it fifth in the nation for solar jobs. New York state has enough solar installed to power more than 41,700 homes.

Shared clean energy programs are currently used in 10 other states. The bill now makes its way to the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.

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