Solar Panel Requirements for Home
A state legislator who has long battled the renewable-energy industry caused gasps and laughter Thursday night when he revealed he, of all people, is getting solar panels at his house. Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, made the comments in response to critics who say he doesn't like clean energy. His point was that he opposes energy mandates, not the energy itself.Dan Gearino, The Columbus Dispatch
A state legislator who has long battled the renewable-energy industry caused gasps and laughter Thursday night when he revealed he, of all people, is getting solar panels at his house.
Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, made the comments in response to critics who say he doesn't like clean energy. His point was that he opposes energy mandates, not the energy itself.
"For four years, I've listened to the slings and arrows of the enviro-socialist rent-seeking left claiming somehow that I am against clean energy, " he said, speaking on the Senate floor about a bill that will weaken clean-energy standards.
"Well ladies and gentlemen, before I came down here for this fun week, this fun parade, I signed a contract to put rooftop solar on my house. So to all of you who say, 'Oh, my grandchildren, my grandchildren, I want clean air, ' I put my money where my mouth is."
He has been the face of a movement in Ohio to reduce or eliminate rules that require utilities to meet annual standards for investing in renewable energy and for helping customers reduce energy use.
He was a leading supporter of a bill in 2014 that placed a two-year freeze on the standards and has been working this year to make the standards optional, as opposed to required.
His work has led to some animated debates with environmental advocates and others who say his ideas are harming the state.
So it was not expected when he said he is getting solar panels installed on his house this month.
"I took advantage of that big tax credit that Uncle Sam is handing out, " he said. "Guess what? I'm getting a $16, 500 system at a net cost to me of about $11, 550. If they're handing it out ... I'll take it."
He went on: "My point is this: You don't need mandates if they're handing out cash."
The Senate passed the bill Thursday night and sent it to the House, which passed it early this morning. The measure, House Bill 554, now goes to Gov. John Kasich, who has hinted he may veto it.
Seitz delivered his animated speech with wild arm movements, waving stacks of paper.
In the audience, some environmental advocates couldn't believe what they were hearing.
"No one could have made that up, " said Rob Kelter, a senior attorney for the Environmental Law and Policy Center.