Georgia Energy Watch—2012 Blackout
31 Saturday Mar 2012
The Georgia Legislature may have ended this week with fireworks, but the energy industry barely saw a flicker of light. Here’s a quick round-up of the would-be bills that did not pass:
HB961- Gave homeowners in subdivisions with a HOA, the right to install solar panels, subject to architectural restrictions of the community. Despite data showing the the average price of a home with solar RISES by $17,000, the Realtors claimed that this would “destroy” the industry. The bill lost by 4 votes in the House.
SB459-Would have allowed homeowners to opt-out of smart-meter installation. Additionally, for those who elect to “opt-out”, fees would not be regulated by the Public Service Commission. This bill was approved by the Senate and died in the House.
HB818- Initially introduced to allow Geothermal heat-pumps to be included in the qualifying definition of Clean Energy for the state tax credit. (Capped at 5 million). Amended in subcommittee (House Ways & Means- no meeting notes or recording) to lower the tax credit cap to 2.5 million (leaving many solar installers stranded). Bill passed the House- (due to the lack of transparency about the latter amendment). Senate took up the bill, deleted the House amendment (restoring the 5M) and added a new $10M credit for Natural Gas Vehicles which it subsequently passed. Versions were not reconciled. Bill died in the House.
SB401-Introduced late, the bill would have allowed property owners to seek third party financing of clean energy projects through a power purchase agreement. Bill was sent to Natural Resources instead of Regulated Industries where it was denied a hearing by the Chairman, Ross Tolleson. Subsequently the bill’s language was amended to SB459 (smart meters) by Sen. Buddy Carter, but the vote to approve the amendment failed. Bill died in committee.