Texas lawmakers advance refunds for solar energy

Texas lawmakers advance bill to compensate homeowners for solar power

Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Utility companies would have to compensate customers who generate surplus power under a proposal advancing in the Texas Legislature.

In a unanimous vote on Thursday, the Senate Business and Commerce Committee approved SB 1239. It still must pass the full Senate and the House.

Excess power generated by businesses and homeowners who install rooftop solar panels flows back to the grid. Under current law, customers can negotiate with their power companies for compensation.

The bill would require utilities to pay customers market rate prices for the surplus electricity. El Paso Democratic Sen. Jose Rodriguez said his proposal would help Texans invest in renewable energy at a time when supplies are expected to be constrained.

Federal statistics show Texas ranks eleventh in solar power generation despite ample space and sunshine.

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