Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Arizonans Love Rooftop Solar

Thanks to the nearly 3,000 people who signed our petition for more, not less, rooftop solar in Arizona!  As we continue to send a strong message to the Corporation Commission, we are building a powerful movement for Energy Democracy in Arizona. 

To join the movement, consider taking these 2 simple, but important steps today:

1 Step: Click here to become a member of the Renewable Communities Alliance.

2 Step: Click here to keep the pressure on the ACC and support new local solar initiatives with an online donation.   

What people are saying.....

Elias Hinkley recently asked "Does the State of Arizona Hate Solar? in an article taking a close look at the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) strategy to cut solar incentives in our sun drenched state.  

Rather than adjust to the realities of a changing energy market, Hinkley concludes that utilities and the ACC are simply out to kill the competition in any way that they can.

If our state representatives couldn't be more out of step with the citizenry.  

People from all walks of life around the state continue to respond to the Corporation Commission decision to slash residential and completely eliminate commercial rooftop solar incentives.  In less than 2 weeks, nearly 10,000 people signed RCA's petition for "more not less rooftop solar in Arizona and a similar CREDO petition.  

Such an extraordinary response sends a strong message to the Commissioners and Governor Brewer that Arizonans love local solar energy and will not stand idly by as they slash key solar incentives. 

We hope they listen.  Below is a small, but representative sampling of what people are saying.

Paul from Tempe: Moving toward clean, renewable energy, especially solar in Arizona, is a positive social good supported by a great majority of Arizonans. Throughout history we have used policy incentives to direct or re-structure energy systems and other public utilities to better meet public, state, and national interests. Substantial subsidies have long been provided to other forms of energy and electric power, especially petroleum and nuclear power. Get with the program! Don't turn back the clock on progress!!

Kathy from Tucson:  Solar energy is the future.  As long as there is sun, there is the potential for solar energy.  We can not ignore it.

Marissa from Phoenix: Thousands of good jobs may disappear as a result of the Corporation Commission decisions.  We should be supporting this industry in our state.

Lance from Tucson: Arizona has more sunshine than most other states in nation. We are already late in implementing solar as a viable energy source. We need to accelerate the adoption of solar and be a leader, not look for ways to keep it from happening.  This is a job-producing industry that has enormous paybacks for the economy, environment, and energy.  Let's move forward, not backward.

Jean from Vail: When I tell friends in a "solar town"  outside of Boston getting a rebate to put solar panels on their roof that we will have no rebates, their reaction is shock and disbelief that Arizona would squander the one hug resource for electricity we have--the sun.  I see it as unpatriotic to not support solar and instead to expect the rest of the country to continue to pollute the air with coal plants.    This action of the commission is shameful.

Jason from Glendale: Renewable energy are our children's future.  We have to reduce our dependence on foreign resources.

Michael from Tucson: Arizona should be a worldwide incubator for solar research and development; for innovative ways to replace energy production from fossil fuels.  It makes no sense to cripple our solar industry.    Remember, the oil industry is heavily subsidized by tax breaks.  Reverse you unfortunate decision an be  part of a surge in sales, employment, R & D and manufacturing.

Debbie from Tucson:  Both my sons work for the solar industry in Arizona. They need  these jobs.

John from Sedona: It's good for our economy, for good jobs, for our communities and for our environment.

Jerry from Tucson: Five years ago, we installed 4kw of solar panels on our roof, we would not have been able to do it without the Arizona mandate to support solar. We are able to contribute extra electricity to TEP and cover all or most of our own utility bills nearly every month. Our system will be paid for in a few months and we have the satisfaction of the conservation of our precious natural resources.

Stephanie from Seligman: Why is it okay that big oil gets all kind of incentives and tax breaks but green energy gets slashed?  Keep the incentives for green energy!  Or face voters wrath!

Collier from Phoenix: We have installed a solar water heater with other green improvements. We have heavily considered installing solar panels for electricity as well, but even with tax rebates it is astronomically expensive.  The incentives should be improved not eliminated; it is ridiculous for politicians to talk about sustainable futures then make the means to do so impossible to anyone but the super rich.

Darrell from Quartzsite: It's common sense!  The most intense sunlight on the planet is where?  Arizona! 

Roger from Phoenix: The more solar you install the more it lowers the price. Everyone is already using solar energy because excess rooftop solar is fed back into the grid. So even the most vociferous opponent of solar is using solar energy and benefiting from reduced energy cost. So lets also benefit from increased solar energy production. Solar not only only promises a brighter living room, it promise a brighter economic future for the state.

Margaret from Mesa: I would like my grandchildren to enjoy nature and clean air - solar energy will go a long way towards a cleaner, sustainable environment.

Karen from Paradise Valley: Waking up to the realities of our current world requires that sensible, future oriented people make decisions that consider the consequences of our choices. Common sense dictates the need for exploration and development of more (not less) solar utilization - and Arizona is a logical leader. What a waste to turn away from an obvious opportunity - not only for Arizonans - but for citizens of the world.

Alan from Seligman:  As a Republican I truly believe in the power of the free market.  However, because of the unreasonable power competition by oil interests, the power market is anything but free and our government needs to provide incentives for competition against the oil interests.

Elena from Tucson: I live in a senior community. Incentives help make solar affordable to this important sector of our population.

Erika from Tucson:  Solar energy should not be a partisan issue.  The sun provides a clean source of power that in the long term is less expensive than coal or gas in both monetary and external costs.  The solar industry in Arizona provides jobs for thousands of people who are adding value to their community by the work they do.  I work for one such company that has already cut 25% of our workforce as a direct result of the ACC decision to reduce the TEP incentive program.  More cuts are likely as solar is placed further from an even playing field with other energy sources.  The employees who were let go have valuable skills that are not being utilized because they are unable to find another job in the solar industry.  This is a waste of manpower which hurts the community and seems to go against Republicans stated intent of supporting small businesses and their employees.

Rita from Rio Rico: Arizona needs to be a leader in solar energy, not a foot dragger. Our family has invested in solar panels and it was one of the smartest things we've ever done.  We need to make it easier for others to do so, not more difficult.

Luann from Payson:  Az has an opportunity to be a true leader in solar energy! Let's do it!

Albert from Phoenix: Germany and Switzerland are recognized as world leaders in solar power, which cannot be as cost effective as it is here in Arizona. I believe government should encourage and promote solar power, for government, school, and commercial buildings, including military installations, and for homes and apartment houses. We have a solar water heater for our own home. We hope many others will do likewise.


Coming up: 

Tucson Electric Power public hearing and comment period on its 2013 request  for a permanent $127.7 million rate increase.  Mark you calendars for the March 6th public meeting at 10 am, ACC Office, 400 W. Congress, Rm. 222, in Tucson.

Our next blog post will look at upcoming utility dockets, legislation, meetings and other opportunities for us to push for more, not less, rooftop solar in Arizona!