Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

The Renewable Energy Finance Act of Colorado

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From a press release sent out Monday by CO State Sen. Morgan Carroll’s office:

The 2009 legislative session will open tomorrow at 10:00 with an onslaught of new bills.  Among them will be the Renewable Energy Finance Act of 2009 introduced by Sen. Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora) and Rep. Claire Levy (D-Boulder).

Colorado has been described as the Saudi Arabia of Solar and Wind, yet average homeowners can scarcely afford to participate.

This bill facilitates four different financing options that allow monthly payments:

1.  3rd party lease agreements;
2.  bank loans;
3.  credit union;
4.  mortgage

These loans or payment plans can be used for:

1.   solar;
2.   geothermal;
3.   wind or
4.   energy efficiency upgrades

for residences or businesses.

This measure will bring investment capitol to Colorado, make alternative energy upgrades more affordable for hundreds of thousands of people and create new jobs.

“Access to renewable energy should not just be for the rich.  We can create many good-paying jobs and finally give access to the renewable revolution to thousands of energy-conscious Coloradans.”, said Sen. Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora).

It’s good to see this bill being announced at the beginning of the 2009 legislative session.  Sen. Carroll is one of the best progressive legislators I’m aware of; it’s encouraging to see Rep. Levy of Boulder join this effort.  Coloradans want and need to install renewable energy infrastructure.  It pays for itself over a reasonable time frame and every ton of CO2 we don’t pollute into the atmosphere is a little less forcing of our climate.  The biggest problem has been the up-front costs of purchasing renewable energy systems.  If Colorado can make that hurdle a little easier to get over, everybody benefits.  This effort will end up expanding the renewable energy industry, which will create good paying jobs – exactly what needs to happen in the awful recession we’re facing.

Democrats control both houses of the Colorado state legislature – so this bill should be passed.  I expect Gov. Bill Ritter to sign it – this fits neatly into his New Energy Economy project.  More details to come as the bill becomes available and makes its way through the process.

Sen. Carroll asked for input in this SquareState diary.

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