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2019 Trends Making and Braking Rooftop Solar in the South

November 18, 2019

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Nov. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) announced its 2019 Solar “Makers” and “Brakers” list highlighting key trends in policies and actions impacting the growth of rooftop solar across the sunny South.

The announcement coincides with the organization’s annual update of its Rates of Solar website, reflecting the most current utility solar policies in the South. The digital resource provides simple information about how utilities are treating rooftop solar customers.

Solar is booming across the South as more homeowners turn to clean, affordable rooftop solar to meet their energy needs and state policy makers embrace local solar growth and the benefits that come with it. According to a recent report by the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar capacity is expected to more than double over the next 5 years. Currently the Southeast has over nine gigawatts of solar installed, and over 14 gigawatts installed or committed.

“We are seeing solar energy make great strides forward in the sunny South,” said Lauren Bowen, Lead Attorney for SELC’s Solar Power Initiative. “However, there is so much more solar potential in our region. Regulatory and utility policies have an enormous impact on whether we’ll be able to reach that potential or not.”

Last year SELC launched Rates of Solar to share and summarize complicated and often difficult-to-find rooftop solar policies for over 400 utilities across the South.

Southerners have some of the highest residential electric bills in the country and going solar is one of the few options that customers have to reduce the amount of energy they buy from utilities and lower their bills. Yet, residents across the region interested in putting solar on their homes, schools or businesses must first consider their utility’s rooftop solar policies before making the investment to determine if it’s a feasible option.

“The updated Rates of Solar website ensures we have the most current solar policies for hundreds of utilities across SELC’s six-state region,” said Jill Kysor, SELC staff attorney. “Our website provides simple, straight-forward information for homeowners about how utilities across the Southeast are treating customers who install rooftop solar. During the process of collecting and updating these sometimes hard-to-get policies, we identified several regional trends impacting the growth of rooftop solar.”

The 2019 Solar Makers list highlights three examples of state, utility, and community actions driving rooftop solar progress in the region. This year’s Solar Brakers list casts light on the utility policy trends that undermine, and in some cases, completely put the brakes on rooftop solar as a cost-effective, clean energy choice.

The 2019 Solar Makers:

The 2019 Solar Brakers:

Southern Environmental Law Center
For more than 30 years, the Southern Environmental Law Center has used the power of the law to champion the environment of the Southeast. With more than 80 attorneys and nine offices across the region, SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental organization and regional leader. SELC works on a full range of environmental issues to protect our natural resources and the health and well-being of all the people in our region. www.SouthernEnvironment.org

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SOURCE Southern Environmental Law Center