New Illinois laws promote solar power
Illinois has passed a package of laws that aim to expand the use of solar power in the state. The new laws establish strengthened targets for utilities to purchase more solar energy and help homeowners who want to increase their solar energy use.
House Bill 6202 amends the Illinois Power Agency Act and the Public Utilities Act to change the date by which electric utilities Commonwealth Edison and Ameren must begin purchasing solar energy as part of a renewable energy portfolio requirement. The new law changes the date to 2012, which is three years earlier than the previous 2015 deadline. Specifically, the power industry will be required to purchase 0.5 percent of its power from solar sources by June 1, 2012; 1.5 percent by June 1, 2013; 3 percent by June 1, 2014; and 6 percent by June 1, 2015, and each year thereafter.
House Bill 5429 creates the Homeowners’ Solar Energy Act to ensure the right of individual homeowners to construct solar energy panels on their homes under certain guidelines. The new law also prevents homeowner’s associations from prohibiting homeowners from installing solar panels on their property.
House Bill 6202 takes effect immediately, and House Bill 5429 will take effect Jan. 1, 2011. “Solar energy is the wave of the future, and it is important that our public utilities and homeowners are able to more easily increase their use of solar energy,” said Gov. Pat Quinn. “We must do everything we can to increase our use of solar energy, which will help us protect natural resources and reduce our reliance on traditional energy sources, such as foreign oil.”
Read more details about Illinois’ new solar laws.