Proposed bill would require solar energy system as standard option in new homes

Friday, February 15, 2013 - 7:42pm

El Pasoans shopping for a new home could soon have options for using solar energy to power it.  Senator José Rodriguez filed two bills, SB 304 and SB 305, to promote solar energy.

SB 304 would require home builders in Texas to offer solar energy as a standard option for home buyers.  SB 304 would exempt solar installations from the state sales tax.

A new report from Environment Texas Research and Policy Center ranks El Paso fifth among the Texas Cities that have installed solar energy systems.

San Antonio and Austin lead the state.  With new homes going up all over the city, El Pasoans think it's a good idea.

"If other people are already taking advantage of it, then the people in El Paso will too," said Mary Orozco.

"There's new homes being built all the time.  El Paso is expanding at an immense rate," said Jim Kellum.

Kellum is trying to enroll in classes to learn how to install solar panels and thinks the bill would help the economy.

"It will create jobs, but it would also benefit people as well because solar power can be used in both ways, not only for electricity, but for heating as well," said Kellum.

Robert Rayon is a realtor in El Paso and he thinks home buyers would take advantage of the option.

"People would like to have solar panels to save the cost of electricity.  The only thing we have to do is make sure the cost is beneficial," said Rayon.

Rayon said solar panels are getting smaller and could soon be more affordable.


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