Ohio community solar bill to move forward with Substitute Bill and Hearing

Ohio Community Solar Bill
Cleveland area high school students show support for Ohio House Bill 197.

Ohio legislators released a substitute bill for House Bill 197, the Community Solar Pilot Program, on Dec. 13. The updated version will address previous concerns and allow the bill to move forward through the state legislature.

Solar United Neighbors attended sponsor testimony for the bill during its hearing in the Public Utilities Committee meeting room.

“We are glad the bill is moving forward and making good progress through the legislative process,” said Tristan Rader, Ohio director for Solar United Neighbors. “It has been a long road to this point, but the enthusiasm for community solar in Ohio has never been greater.”

Proponent testimony for the bill in September enjoyed a packed house, lasted over three hours, and saw 65 members of the public sign in to speak, with no one testifying in opposition. Supporters of the bill range from the general public to solar installers to chamber of commerce representatives and other job creators as well as consumer advocates and environmental groups.  

And support for the bill is only growing. The updated version comes days after dozens of Cleveland-area high school students descended upon the state house to urge their legislators to support the bill that would help allow Ohio business owners and residents access solar power regardless of whether or not they own a roof. 

Solar United Neighbors also previously invited Ohio legislators to attend a tour of a solar training facility in September, where legislators joined with labor leaders and industry professionals to see firsthand how more solar installation work can lead directly to thousands of high-paying careers right here in Ohio. The tour was hosted by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Citizens Utility Board of Ohio, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Solar United Neighbors is a nonprofit organization that works in Ohio and nationwide to represent the needs and interests of solar owners and supporters. Solar co-ops are part of the organization’s mission to create a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. Solar United Neighbors holds events and education programs to help people become informed solar consumers, maximize the value of their solar investment, and advocate for fair solar policies.

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