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Higgins speaks on solar power, clean energy on House floor

by jmaloni

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Thu, Sep 18th 2014 10:35 pm

Congressman urges energy secretary to adopt net metering policies to save residential and commercial consumers on electricity bills

Congressman Brian Higgins spoke on the House floor on the importance of clean energy. He emphasized the potential for America to take a leading role in this field.

In 2013, renewable energy accounted for 13 percent of electricity generation; however, to continue progress in this area, he said Congress must enact the right policies, such as extending the Solar Investment Tax Credits due to expire at the end of 2016.

Higgins recently wrote a letter to the secretary of energy to urge his office to formulate best practices for net metering, which allows those who generate their own electricity from solar power to sell what they do not use back to the grid. This practice would create savings for solar customers and potentially all ratepayers.

Below is the text of Higgins remarks on the House floor:

"Mr. Speaker

"I rise today to highlight the importance of clean energy sources and the leading role America is poised to play in this field.

"Earlier this summer, the company SolarCity announced its intention to open one of the largest solar production plants in the world in Buffalo, New York. This display of renewable energy would be a tremendous addition to the Western New York community through the creation of over 1,000 jobs.

"However, continued growth in renewable energy is dependent on Congress enacting the right policies. This is why we must extend the Solar Investment Tax Credits, which are due to expire at the end of 2016. We also need to ensure that consumers selling energy back to the grid are able to do so at predictable and fair prices.

"That is why today (Wednesday) I sent a letter to the secretary of energy urging his office to formulate best practices for net metering. This allows those who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed what they do not use back to the grid.

"Just as the Buffalo/Niagara Region was an early adopter of hydroelectricity, we intend to be a leader in clean energy technologies like solar power, as well."

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