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Trace: at MMR_Render.Press_Release.Page_Load(Object sender, EventArgs e) Villarreal Passes Municipal Financing Bill for Energy Improvements - News from Mike - Representative Mike Villarreal - District 123 San Antonio

Villarreal Passes Municipal Financing Bill for Energy Improvements

Friday, May 15, 2009

Provides Cities New Tool to Promote Efficient and Renewable Energy 

Austin - Today the Texas House of Representatives approved House Bill 1937, legislation by State Rep. Mike Villarreal to authorize municipal financing of property owners' investments in energy efficiency upgrades or renewable energy devices such as solar panels.  The bill allows cities and individual property owners to enter into an agreement by which the city will provide the upfront costs for the energy improvements and the property owners will pay back the city through their property taxes. The legislation was modeled on similar successful programs in other cities around the country.
"As San Antonio and other cities develop plans to meet our long-term energy needs, we want to help them find alternatives to energy sources that threaten the environment and the air we breathe," stated Rep. Villarreal. "By helping property owners with their upfront costs, we can remove the main obstacle to making our homes and businesses more green."
The Director of the City of San Antonio's Office of Environmental Policy, Laurence Doxsey, testified in favor of the bill in the House Urban Affairs Committee on April 24.  He told the Committee that San Antonio would like to develop a municipal financing program to help meet the city's future energy needs.  Other witnesses supporting the bill included representatives of the Environmental Defense Fund, Texas Society of Architects, CPS Energy, Public Citizen, and the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association.
"My constituents have told me they want to reduce their carbon footprint, energy usage and utility bills," noted Rep. Villarreal. "This bill provides an innovative way to accomplish our clean energy goals."