Bill advances to give condo owners a new way to buy into rooftop solar – Hawaiipublicradio

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Condo owners may have a new pathway to access benefits from rooftop solar.

The Hawaiʻi Senate is considering a bill to create a Solar Hui Program, allowing multi-family property owners to pay into a collective investment fund that would go towards energy projects and loans.

Over 100,000 homes across the state have solar panels. While Hawaiʻi has one of the highest rates of rooftop solar per capita, multi-family homes face barriers to adoption.

Condo owners often can’t install solar units on their buildings because they don’t own the roofs.

The initiative is aimed at giving low and moderate-income households the ability to produce solar energy.

Those who invest in the fund would be eligible to receive certain solar energy tax credits and income derived from solar energy generation, as well as the repayment of the loans.

The program would be overseen by the Hawaiʻi Green Infrastructure Authority.

According to the Catholic Charities Hawaiʻi, condos make up about one-third of the state’s housing stock.

The measure passed its third hearing on Tuesday and will now go to the House for approval.

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