**Update: As of this writing (Tuesday, June 12th) HB 1580 has not gone up for vote. However, the PA legislator extended the legislation session through the end of June, allowing for some hope that with enough grassroots pressure from supporters of the PA solar industry the bill will go up for vote. PASEIA encourages supporters of HB 1580 to continue to call into the offices of the PA House leadership. The applicable phone numbers are listed below.
A coalition of solar industry groups led by PASEIA, SEIA, PennFuture and Vote Solar are making one last push to revive Pennsylvania House Bill (HB) 1580 before the close of the work week on Friday, 5/25. HB 1580 was first introduced in October 2011 by Rep. Chris Ross (R-Chester) as a fix for what many in the PA solar industry view as an SREC market with prices trading at unsustainable levels. The bill’s core proposal is to move forward the Pennsylvania SREC requirement by three years – effectively accelerating SREC requirements in an attempt to stabilize the market. A hearing was held in the Pennsylvania House Consumer Affairs Committee in January 2012 and 108 (enough to pass the bill in the House) committed to vote for the bill if it passed out of committee. Lobbyists were also able to garner a substantial amount of support in the Senate.
Why hasn’t the bill passed yet?
Despite the January hearing on HB 1580 the bill was never put up for vote in the House Consumer Affairs Committee. The decision to do so is the responsibility of Committee Chair Rep. Bob Godshall (R-Montgomery) who has taken counsel from stakeholders both for and against the bill. The coalition of groups supporting HB 1580 emphasize in their communication with stakeholders that HB 1580 is meant to provide support for jobs created by the nascent Pennsylvania solar industry at little to no additional cost to ratepayers. However, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce along along with other groups representing natural gas and other interests are opposed to the bill. Furthermore, strong pressure for and against the bill has made it a tough topic to address amid the latest election cycle.
Pennsylvania stakeholders that support HB 1580 have the option to lobby key members of the Pennsylvania legislator to get the bill put up for vote. HB 1580 advocates are encouraged to call the following three members of the PA House leadership.
- Rep. Robert Godshall (Committee Chair): 717-783-6428
- Rep. Samuel Smith (Speaker of the House): 814-938-4225
- Rep. Mike Turzai (House Majority Leader): 412-369-2230