Counties Oppose Mandated Solar Panels for All Government Buildings

On February 19, 2020, MACo Policy Associate Drew testified before the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee to oppose SB 592 (CF HB 1370) – State-Funded Construction and Major Renovation Projects – Solar Panels – Requirement. This bill would place a costly mandate on county governments to carry out new state policy to place the maximum number of solar panels on a roof as specified during new construction or major renovation projects.

From MACo Testimony:

As a rule, MACo resists state policies that result in costly or burdensome local implementation. SB 592 would implement a costly, difficult mandate for county governments to design, engineer, and construct future buildings to withstand the weight of the maximum efficient number of solar panels. Under this proposed law, counties would have no choice but to adhere to the policy, irrespective of the viability of efficiency of this energy option.

Another route to pursue similar outcomes, which counties would not oppose, would be to create a mandatory consideration for state-funded projects. If part of the state’s facility approval process included a checklist that the facility has been considered as a candidate for certain potentially desirable inclusions (including, in this case, energy-efficient facilities like solar or geothermal) – counties would accede to this standard to promote these worthy goals.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2020 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.