US: Illinois sees new laws passed to encourage use of solar

Governor Pat Quinn signed the legislation (House Bill 6202), which saw amendments being made to both the Illinois Power Agency Act and the Public Utilities Act. Additionally, the Illinois government said a new Homeowners’ Solar Energy Act (House Bill 5429) was brought in to ensure the right of individual homeowners to construct solar panels on their homes, provided the individual homeowners follow certain guidelines. Under the new law, homeowner’s associations cannot prohibit homeowners from installing solar panels on their property. In a statement, it explained: “The new laws establish strengthened targets for utilities that will be purchasing more solar energy and help homeowners who want to increase their solar energy usage.”

“Solar energy is the wave of the future, and it is important that our public utilities and homeowners are able to more easily increase their use of solar energy,” said Governor Quinn. “We must do everything we can to increase our use of solar energy, which will help us protect natural resources and reduce our reliance on traditional energy sources, such as foreign oil.”

Governor Quinn signed both pieces of legislation at the University of Illinois at Chicago. House Bill 6202 takes effect immediately and House Bill 5429 will take effect Jan. 1, 2011.