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Solarize Bloomington Still Offering Path To Affordable Power

Solar panels on top of the car shelters in the City Hall parking lot in Bloomington as seen from above.

Solar panels on top of the car shelters in the City Hall parking lot in Bloomington as seen from above. (Seth Tackett, WTIU/WFIU News)

Almost 200 homeowners have taken advantage of the City of Bloomington’s solar panel initiative since it began in 2017.

The Solarize Bloomington Initiative is entering its fourth year, and a news release from the city says it’s holding three meetings in the next six weeks for residents and business owners who are interested in solar power.

In 2017, the city partnered with nonprofit Solar Indiana Renewable Energy Network (SIREN) to establish Solarize Bloomington, a program that aims to make installing solar power more affordable. This came in the wake of a 2017 bill that reduced net metering rates.

Net metering is a process in which consumers who produce their own solar electricity can return excess energy to the grid in exchange for credits.

Duke Energy customers who install solar panels before July 1, 2022 can get net metering at the current rate until 2032.

The news release also says 2019 is the last year that people can claim a federal tax credit equal to 30 percent of the installation price, before it drops to 26 percent in 2020 and then 22 percent in 2021.

This year’s program is open to property owners in Brown, Greene, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan, Orange and Owen counties.

The city itself also uses solar power. The release says it has installed solar PV systems at more than 30 locations across Bloomington to provide power for municipal operations.

The three public information sessions are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 3 and 22 and Nov. 14 at the Monroe County Public Library. Interested parties should fill out an online form before the meeting.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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