Ga. debates permitting solar panel leasing

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) -- Georgia law requires most customers to get their electricity from a traditional utility. But that law was enacted before the advent of solar power.

Now, some state lawmakers want to open up the electricity market to other companies in hopes of spurring the growth of the solar energy sector and giving customers more choices.

State Rep. Mike Dudgeon is proposing legislation that would help companies compete with the utilities by allowing customers to lease solar panels -- rather than buying them outright. The Johns Creek Republican's proposal would also allow third-party companies to sell solar electricity directly to customers.

Utilities have been wary about weakening the monopoly system. They have largely refrained from criticizing Dudgeon's plan since it seems unlikely the measure will move forward this year.

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