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Udall Introduces Bill to Encourage Colorado Communities to Develop Solar Energy Projects

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Mark Udall, who serves on the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, re-introduced his Solar Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) Act today. The bill, developed based on ideas from Udall's 2010 Colorado Energy Summit, would encourage homeowners throughout Colorado to buy into solar community projects by making them eligible for the same renewable energy tax credit homeowners receive when they install solar panels on their homes.

Mark Udall, who serves on the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, re-introduced his Solar Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) Act today. The bill, developed based on ideas from Udall's 2010 Colorado Energy Summit, would encourage homeowners throughout Colorado to buy into solar community projects by making them eligible for the same renewable energy tax credit homeowners receive when they install solar panels on their homes.

"Solar energy is a critical part of Colorado's balanced approach to energy development. This bill ensures that all homeowners are eligible for the individual renewable energy tax credit even if they participate in solar farms because their homes are unsuitable for solar panels," Udall said. "The SUN Act makes our tax laws fairer and encourages all homeowners to contribute to our nation's pursuit of true energy independence."

Federal tax laws currently require that a homeowner must install solar panels on her or her home to be eligible for the 30 percent individual renewable energy federal tax credit. But shade from trees or other structures, building architecture or permitting sometimes make the installation of solar panels on a home impractical. Udall's proposal addresses this concern by encouraging homeowners to develop community solar projects.

Udall, a leader in promoting a balanced energy strategy, recently introduced the Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act. He also has promoted how Colorado's balanced approach to energy is a model for the nation. As part of his work to highlight Colorado's energy successes, he has visited the National Wind Technology Center in Louisville and the Elk Creek Mine and methane-capture project in Somerset.


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