Baltimore County to Ease Restrictions on Solar Panel Installation

To increase the use of solar power in Baltimore County, the County Council is considering legislation to reduce the amount of open space required around the panels and allow companies to run wires and conduits in the space. The industry indicates these requirements have caused Baltimore County to lag behind in the number of homeowners installing solar panels on their homes.

Earlier this month, the County Council approved legislation to increase the number of homeowners who may receive a property tax credit for installing solar panels. As reported by the Baltimore Sun,

…the council unanimously raised the cap for how much in solar energy tax credits the county can approve each year, from $250,000 to $750,000.

Homeowners who install solar panels can claim a one-time credit against their property tax bill equal to half of the value of their solar system. Since the tax credits were started in 2010, 223 homeowners have received $910,727 worth of tax credits, an average of about $4,000 per homeowner.

But with the credits capped at $250,000 per year, property owners have had to wait years to claim their credits. The waiting list has 568 homeowners on it, and some of them will have to wait nine years, according to the county.

The legislation to ease the open space requirements and allow wire and conduit to be run in them is expected to  be voted on during the Council’s Monday voting session.