Udall hopes to expand renewable leasing programs

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Colorado Sen. Mark Udall has joined two other U.S. Senators to expand the availability of renewable energy leasing programs.

Udall, Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, and Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican,  introduced the REAL Act to offer wider leasing options for residential solar and renewable energy products.

“Making renewable energy more affordable for more Coloradans shifts our country’s reliance on fossil fuels toward cleaner sources that create lasting jobs within our state’s burgeoning renewable energy industry and pump dollars directly into our economy,” Udall said.

One major barrier to the expansion of renewable energy leasing programs has been the lack of a well-established market for these leases. Interested parties are sometimes reluctant to invest in these programs because the value of the lease cannot be guaranteed.

The Renewable Energy Access through Leasing (REAL) Act would address this problem by allowing the Department of Energy to insure the value of the lease. This would help create a stable market for renewable energy system leases to residential customers, freeing up additional capital to invest in these programs. It would do so at zero cost to taxpayers, and would be paid for by charging premiums for companies to participate in the insurance program.

By eliminating market barriers to wide-spread leasing of solar and other renewable energy systems, the REAL Act will help more households share in the energy savings from these systems.