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Solar financing bill turned into study

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The idea of allowing residents to use their electricity bills to pay off costs of energy-saving installations is not becoming law.

Instead, lawmakers rewrote the legislation to order the Public Utilities Commission to study the program’s viability.

The bill calling for the study cleared its conference committee Thursday and will get final votes in the House and Senate next week.

Energy Committee Chairman Denny Coffman, a Democrat representing Kailua-Kona, has said he was reluctant to pass the original bill because it didn’t spell out details of how it would work or an analysis of its costs and benefits.

The legislation permits the Public Utilities Commission to implement an on-bill financing program if the study of the idea proves that it’s feasible.


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