Ten Ways to Get More Solar through City of Albuquerque Solar Regulation
Information originally from EnvironmentAmerica.org
The City of Albuquerque Solar Regulation is very different from other solar power regulations across the county. On a whole solar is on the rise – increasing 350-fold since 2002. Major cities are helping to lead this clean energy revolution. Environment America's new report, Shining Cities: Harnessing the Benefits of Solar Energy in America, shows that cities from every region of the U.S. are driving solar development with strong public policies – reaping important benefits for the environment, public health and the economy. Investing in local New Mexico and Albuquerque solar power installations can help cities and their residents keep more of their energy dollars at home, creating good local jobs. Here are some tips on how we can get more solar through City of Albuquerque Solar Regulations.
1Set a goal and commit to it
Ambitious goals for solar power provide a rallying point for the public and elected officials. In 2013, Cincinnati officials adopted a goal of putting solar panels on 20 percent of the city’s roofs within 15 years. Albuquerque can designate a point person and/or an advisory committee to bring people together around the goals. The city of New York has appointed a solar team that works to bring more solar power online in the city, City of Albuquerque solar regulation can follow suit.
2Let government lead by example
The City of Albuquerque solar regulation can set an example and boost the local solar market by installing solar power on the rooftops of public buildings and engaging in high-profile demonstration projects. For example, the city of New Bedford, Massachusetts, has reduced electricity spending by installing solar power on the city of Albuquerque buildings and public spaces, including installations on three schools, a public gym and the Department of Public Infrastructure Building.
3Develop and publicize local financing options
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing programs allow property owners to borrow money from a specially created fund, repaying the loan over time through their property taxes. In the 2009 legislative session, New Mexico’s lawmakers passed two bills that enable the creation of PACE programs on the county level. Through Senate Bill 647 and House Bill 572, county and municipal residents can secure the up-front capital to pay for a renewable energy system and pay it back through a line item on their property taxes. The City of Albuquerque solar regulation can also partner with local financial institutions to offer competitive loans for solar power. The “Milwaukee Shines” program, for example, partnered with Summit Credit Union to offer low interest loans of up to $20,000 for eligible solar PV installations.
4Reduce unnecessary red tape and fees
Going solar should be easy and hassle free. City of Albuquerque solar regulation such as permitting, installation and interconnection fees make up a significant part of the cost of a solar project, and the City of Albuquerque solar regulations can remove or reduce these fees to make solar power more accessible to residents and businesses. In Philadelphia, solar permitting fees are reduced to include only the cost of labor, not equipment. Chicago’s “Solar Express Permit Program" allows solar PV projects to receive same-day permit approvals, with fees reduced by 25 percent. The city of San Francisco has taken steps to reduce wait times for solar PV applications and has created online permitting tools. The The Long Island Unified Solar Permit Initiative is at work in Suffolk and Nassau counties in New York to standardize regulations across communities and reduce wait times for solar permits.
5Encourage community solar projects
Community solar programs allow customers to support and benefit from solar power projects in their communities, even if the solar panels are not connected to their own electric meters. The City of Albuquerque city solar regulation can work with PNM to offer this alternative for homeowners or renters who cannot site solar panels on their residences. Seattle City Light, for example, allows its customers to invest in community solar projects. The program recently funded an installation on the Seattle Aquarium.
6Give solar power a tax break
While the Albuquerque does offer tax breaks for solar power in the form of local sales tax exception and a 10% state tax credit, these credits are set to expire unless local politicians opt to extend them. Further incentives such as property tax credits can also be implemented to increase solar in Albuquerque.
7“Solarize” the city
Bulk purchasing and public education programs can help residents of city neighborhoods “go solar” together. “Solarize” programs connect solar installers to many customers at a time and reduce costs for solar installers and consumers. Portland, Oregon, was the first to offer this program, and other city and state programs – like Solarize Boston, Solarize Charlotte, Solarize Asheville, and Solarize Connecticut – have followed suit.
8 Get local utilities involved
The city of Albuquerque should encourage PNM to partner with them in unlocking the potential of solar energy. In New York City, the investor-owned utility Con Edison worked with the city and the state to launch the “100 Days of Solar” initiative to streamline the process of issuing solar permits, interconnecting customers to the grid, and issuing rebates.
9Guarantee “solar rights”
Local governments everywhere should adopt “solar rights policies,” which protect access to solar power by overriding local ordinances or homeowners’ association policies that bar residents from installing solar power equipment on their properties. Do you know your rights for solar in Albuquerque? You do have rights. Read about your Albuquerque solar rights here.
Other cities have added building code provisions that require homes to be “solar ready,” or able to accept solar panels without additional wiring or major building changes, thereby further facilitating homeowners’ access to solar power.
10Push for strong state and federal leadership
Pro-solar state and federal policies are critical for the development of solar energy, and cities should use their influence to advocate for stronger state and federal financial incentives for solar energy, solar “carve-outs” in renewable electricity standards, strong net metering and interconnection standards, and comprehensive solar rights policies.