Madison, WI. – To support a push in the legislature to resolve long standing uncertainty of solar leasing and financing options a new coalition is being formed.
The Wisconsin Energy Freedom Coalition is encouraging support and passage of Senate Bill 702 and Assembly Bill 731, legislation to affirm the legal ability of residents, businesses, and communities across the state to fully utilize lease and financing options for solar power. Currently Wisconsin is the only state in the nation that effectively outlaws these financing options for solar, so often utilized by consumers across the country.
The Wisconsin Energy Freedom Coalition is led by 10 founding organizations advocating together for increased solar opportunities in Wisconsin. The Coalition includes:
- Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin
- League of Wisconsin Municipalities
- Organic Valley
- Aurora Health
- T. Wall Enterprises
- RENEW Wisconsin
- Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum
- Wisconsin Grocers Association
- Midwest Renewable Energy Association
- Faith Technologies
“This legislation is an opportunity for policymakers in our state to finally clear up an outdated and confusing area of state regulation,” said Scott Coenen of Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum. “The solar market is booming across the country and innovative business models are emerging that empower consumers to take advantage of these tools in ways no one could have predicted even ten years ago. In Wisconsin, regulation is threatening to hold back investment and access to this market. Our state should be open for business like states across the country already are, this helps us get there.”
Solar leasing, commonly referred to as third party financing, is used by consumers in one form or another in 49 other states across the country but has been effectively outlawed in Wisconsin.
“With solar leasing clarified, we can expand the solar market and create new job and investment opportunities in Wisconsin,” said Heather Allen of RENEW Wisconsin. “This legislation will allow for rapid expansion of solar on homes, businesses and nonprofits, driving millions of dollars of private investment in Wisconsin and creating good paying Jobs. This bill is essential to help clear up long-standing misconceptions that solar leasing is illegal. Without this bill we won’t be able to compete with other states that are much further along on installing solar and creating robust consumer-oriented markets.”
The Wisconsin Energy Freedom Coalition supports Senate Bill 702 and Assembly Bill 731, sponsored by Senator Rob Cowles and Representative Rachael Cabral-Guevara, legislation to affirm the legal right of residents, businesses, and communities across the state to fully utilize lease and financing options for solar power. While consumers in neighboring states are free to access solar power produced on their property using equipment owned by another entity, Wisconsinites do not clearly have those options available to them.
This legal uncertainty continues to hamper the growth of the solar market and access to more competitive options. We believe putting more power and options in the hands of consumers can help modernize Wisconsin’s energy infrastructure, reduce costs, and improve environmental outcomes.
For more information about the Coalition, visit wi4energyfreedom.com.