Bloomington is entering the second phase of an initiative to increase low cost solar energy installations.
Mayor John Hamilton says that due to changes in the way the state regulates solar energy prices, solar systems installed before the end of the year will get higher return energy credits.
“So, right now the rule is, if you create extra energy and you don’t need it in your house, you sell it back to your neighbors basically at the same rate that you pay for it. The retail rate,” Hamilton says. “After this year that rate goes down you don’t get the same retail rate and also you don’t get that same rate for more than 15 years.”
The first phase brought solar installations at lower than retail costs to 95 homes in Bloomington, as well as two large installations on city property.
Phase two participants will expect to pay around $7,000 after federal tax credits. This four-kilowatt system can generate about half of the electricity used by a typical house.
The city will also attempt to install solar panels on as many municipal buildings as possible before the end of the year to take advantages of the higher return energy credits.