State Senator Pitches Bill that Would Expand Access to Solar Power

Sen. Dan Laughlin (R-49) has reintroduced legislation that would expand access to solar power through a local voluntary program while ensuring adequate ratepayer protection.

Senate Bill 1227 would create the PA Local Solar program, seeking to allow electric utilities to establish subscriber programs by which customers can choose to purchase 100% local solar energy, rather than the traditional grid mix.

The legislation will allow residential and business customers to participate in an off-site solar program but does not mandate participation nor require state funding. The bill is similar to Senate Bill 919, which Laughlin introduced during the 2021-22 legislative session.

“The number of customers who would like to purchase solar energy is rising,” said Laughlin. “However, those who live in apartment buildings or in a location that is not conducive to solar energy production are currently unable to participate in Pennsylvania’s growing solar economy. Many others wish to participate, but lack the financial resources required for rooftop solar installations.”

“Though I am not a proponent of recent efforts to promote the construction of wind turbine farms in Lake Erie, I support other forms of renewable energy and believe they should be part of an all-the-above energy strategy for our commonwealth,” Laughlin said. “This bill will allow those who truly believe in renewable energy, but live in settings that are not conducive to generating it, to put their money where it will back up their desire for a cleaner grid.”