Sending Office: Honorable Raja Krishnamoorthi
Sent By:
Hillary.Caron@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

Deadline: Monday, March 25 COB

Dear Colleague:

As co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Solar Caucus, we encourage you to support continued funding for efforts to reduce the cost of solar energy development.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has played a major role in reducing the cost of solar energy over the last decade. Today, non-hardware “soft costs” (such as permitting, installation, etc.) represent the majority of the total price of residential rooftop
solar systems. Cutting red tape and reducing these costs could achieve thousands of dollars in savings per system for U.S. consumers and businesses, and it is imperative that DOE continue to work collaboratively with local governments to achieve this goal.

Please join us in urging the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee to maintain the current funding level of $35 million for solar soft cost reduction in FY20, along with report language to ensure this important work continues.  To sign on to the letter,
please contact Hillary Caron (hillary.caron@mail.house.gov) with Rep. Krishnamoorthi or Meghan Holland (meghan.holland@mail.house.gov) with Rep. Norman.

 

Sincerely,

 

Raja Krishnamoorthi                           Ralph Norman

Member of Congress                          Member of Congress

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Chairwoman Kaptur and Ranking Member Simpson:

As the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development begins its work on Fiscal Year 2020 legislation, we write to express our support for the Department of Energy’s ongoing work to develop innovative solutions to further reduce soft costs
for rooftop solar and storage technologies.

Today, soft costs represent as much as 64 percent [1] of the total price of a residential rooftop solar system, and thousands of dollars in potential savings per system. While hardware costs (solar panels, inverters, batteries) have experienced significant
cost reductions in recent years, soft costs (permitting, installation costs, customer acquisition) continue to pose challenges for consumers and businesses. Since rules and regulations vary across 18,000 local jurisdictions in all 50 states, the Department
of Energy is best positioned to identify best practices and offer technical assistance to municipalities. Currently there is no standard process or online permitting system that local authorities can adopt voluntarily to easily get solar and storage customers
online.

To date, the Department of Energy has undertaken a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to reduce soft costs and deliver value to consumers and businesses. The existing work has been highlighted by the SunShot 2020 and 2030 cost targets to reduce
the cost of solar energy and support a self-sustaining U.S. solar industry. In addition, the SolSmart program provides direct technical assistance to local governments to support economic development and make it easier, faster, and cheaper to go solar. Consumers,
businesses, and local governments benefit directly from these programs.

In Fiscal Year 2019, the Energy and Water Appropriations bill included $35 million in funding and report language to continue work on these critical efforts. We write to request the same funding level and the following report language to be included with
the Fiscal Year 2020 legislation: The Committee recommends $35,000,000 for Balance of System Soft Cost efforts focused on reducing the time and costs for permitting, inspecting, and interconnecting distributed solar and storage projects installed behind
the customer’s meter through standardized requirements and online application systems.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. Please contact Hillary Caron (Hillary.Caron@mail.house.gov) with Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi or Meghan Holland (Meghan.Holland@mail.house.gov)
with Congressman Ralph Norman should your staff want to discuss this matter in greater detail.

Sincerely,

 


[1] https://www.energy.gov/eere/articles/soft-costs-101-key-achieving-cheaper-solar-energy

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