The solar energy legislation, L.D. 1252, would restore funds to the bankrupt Efficiency Maine Program so that other families and businesses could receive a rebate toward the cost of installing solar panels.

Two years ago, my husband and I received this rebate for a 16-panel array that was installed on our roof in Fayette. We would not have decided to make this big move toward cleaner energy without this rebate.

We are retired on a fixed income and needed this assistance to lessen the cost. I want others like us to have access to this rebate. In 10 years, our investment will pay for itself. We save about $80 per month now.

Maine people should have access to affordable ways to generate their own power. It’s free to produce, but requires an investment to install. All other New England states are doing more to help people develop and benefit from solar power.

Maine continues to send billions of dollars every year out of state to buy imported fossil fuels. We need less dollar drain and more energy independence and support more of our own renewable energy. This would limit expensive transmission and distribution costs, which drive up electric rates for Mainers. Power plants are a leading source of climate-changing pollution. We need to increase cleaner energy and lessen our carbon footprint since climate change threatens Maine economy and other aspects of life in many ways.

I hope my legislator, Rep. Dennis Keschl, R-Belgrade, seriously considers voting for this bill.

Barrie ColbathFayette