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MoCo Looks To End Renewable Energy Subsidies

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The Montgomery County Council is considering ending tax credits for people that install residential solar installations.
Matt Bush
The Montgomery County Council is considering ending tax credits for people that install residential solar installations.

Council members in Montgomery County are looking to stop a program that offers property tax credits for homeowners who install solar and geothermal power devices in their homes.

There appears to be unanimous support to suspend the program, but the reason for ending the subsidies depends on who you talk to. Council vice president Roger Berliner says it's because the program has done its job. He notes that so many people signed up for the program, it now has a five to eight year waiting list.

Councilman George Leventhal disputes that, blaming differing priorities in tight budget times. "I wouldn't call this a success story. I think the county really has not kept pace with our constituents' demand and strong interest," he says.

Berliner also points out that renewable technologies have become much more affordable. 

"When we first put in this program, the cost of renewable energy was considerably higher than it is today," he says. "And we don't need to be as generous with this as this program has been."

Before the program can be suspended, the council must hold a public hearing on the matter -- which it will do next month.

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