What do Mothers want?
Alabama Solar Initiative-- powered by Mothers and Others For A Brilliant Future
When it comes to renewable energy in the state of Alabama, we are getting an “F.” Alabama finished dead last in an index of all 50 states that examined how easily residents and businesses can switch to clean energy like solar power to meet their electricity needs. But our children deserve an “A”, with a future that is sustainable and fueled by the newest technologies in the renewables industry.
Germany, Sweden, and many other countries have shown that renewable energy is a true job creation machine and paves the way into a clean and self-sustaining future. Our neighbor Georgia just implemented the Solar Power Free-Market Financing Act of 2015, thus becoming the first state in the Southeast to allow third-party ownership of solar -- a financing model that allows installing solar panels for those who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford them. (More info on party solar financing here: https://www.seia.org/initiatives/third-party-solar-financing.)
Solar energy is an abundant resource in the Southeast. Third-party ownership is one key to accelerating solar deployment in our region, where many states prefer markets to mandates, and to attracting investment and jobs throughout the region. It’s time for Alabama to join Georgia and mobilize to become a solar energy leader in the Southeast.
As a first step, third party ownership of renewable energy needs to be expressly allowed by Alabama law. That’s why we will ask our legislators to pass a bill to authorize retail electric service customers to install solar technology for the generation of electricity for their own use, and to finance such installation though a solar financing agent.
Utility companies claim that policies like net metering or other solar incentives increase electricity costs for non-solar customers. But numerous reports have rebutted the industry’s cost-shift talking point; one from the Environment America Research & Policy Center analyzed 16 studies and concluded that solar customers do not have a negative effect on non-solar customers.
We from Mothers Out Front build our power as mothers to ensure a self-sustaining energy future for all children. Making the shift to renewable energy easier on an individual level is a small but important step towards this future -- and we believe in small steps resulting in big changes. Let’s join forces to help the children of Alabama get an “A” for their energy future!
To All Members of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure:
We, mothers and caregivers from Alabama and beyond, ask you to submit a bill to the Alabama House of Representatives ASAP in order to allow third-party ownership of solar energy in the state of Alabama. We call on you to:
(1) Expand the definition of a utility to include the requirement that they must provide both electricity and ancillary services.
(2) Explicitly exempt third-party owners from the definition of a utility.
Solar is an abundant resource in the Southeast, and all our children deserve a future that is sustainable and fueled by the newest technologies made in the renewables industry. You, as our representatives and members of the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure, hold the key to making that happen.
MORE INFORMATION/ SOURCES:
- House Bill 277 (2016) Sponsor Rep. Ken Johnson (R)
- Georgia Shines as a Leader in Energy Choice (RMI Outlet)
- North Carolina Bill Would Launch Opportunity for Third-Party-Owned Solar (Greentech Media)
- Walmart, GM and more ask lawmakers to consider Missouri Energy Freedom Act (The Missouri Times)
- Germany Could Be a Model for How We’ll Get Power in the Future (National Geographic)
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