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Wyden, colleagues introduce legislation to help homeowners add renewable energy systems

Solar panels
KTVZ file
Solar panels

WASHINGTON (KTVZ) – Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said Monday he has introduced legislation that would help state, local and Tribal governments accelerate the permitting and inspection process for residents to install home energy systems, like rooftop solar panels.   

“Each year, more Americans are installing solar panels and other clean energy products into their homes but local governments are struggling to streamline the permitting and inspection process for qualifying clean home energy systems,” said Wyden. “That’s why I’m proud to cosponsor the SHINE Act which would simplify the permitting process for homeowners and local governments and build on the clean energy tax credits I authored in the Inflation Reduction Act. Together, these two pieces of legislation would create more green jobs in Oregon and nationwide and lower energy costs for homeowners.” 

Across the country, local governments are struggling to keep pace with the number of permit applications they are receiving for home energy systems like rooftop solar. When these permits take weeks, or even months, to process, it means higher prices, fewer local jobs, and a worse customer experience for homeowners.  

The Streamlining Homeowner Installation of New Energies (SHINE) Act directs the Department of Energy to work with local authorities to automate permitting and approvals of residential renewable energy systems, saving time, lowering utility costs, and creating new jobs in the transition to a clean energy future.   

The legislation was led by Senator Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. Alongside Wyden, the bill was cosponsored by Senators Catherine Cortez-Masto, D-Nev., Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., and Alex Padilla, D-Calif.

The SHINE Act is supported by the Solar Energy Industries Association; Advanced Energy United; GRID Alternatives; Solar United Neighbors Action; Vote Solar and others.

The text of the bill is here.

A fact sheet on the bill is here.

Earlier this year, Wyden successfully urged the Biden Administration to establish a Civilian Climate Corps program and create green union jobs.

Last year, Wyden authored clean energy provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act which will reduce carbon emissions in the power sector by about 70 percent over the next decade.

Article Topic Follows: Oregon-Northwest

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