Navigation
Why did you join KySEA?
The Green Convene The Green Convene

"The Green Convene of Louisville aims to advocate sustainability through coalition building and is proud to join the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance's efforts to promote clean energy in the Commonwealth"

Read more...

View more
 

February

Sub-archives

Feb 28, 2011

Clean Energy Bill Will be Heard Thursday, March 3rd!

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Feb 28, 2011 11:55 AM

House Bill 239, the Clean Energy Opportunity Act, sponsored by Representative Mary Lou Marzian (D), will be heard in committee this Thursday. This bill would jumpstart a state clean energy market and create thousands of new jobs. KySEA supports this bill - learn more about the bill here.  Here is how you can help:

Attend the hearing of, the Clean Energy Opportunity Act...
Thursday, March 3rd. 10 a.m. Frankfort, Capitol Annex, Room 131.

Or, if you can't make the hearing, call the members of the committee where it's assigned in support of the bill. 

Call: 1 (800) 372-7181

Leave a message for members of the House Tourism Development and Energy Committee (Representatives Combs, Harmon, Kim King, Steele, Adams, Bratcher, Clark, Dossett, Edmonds, Flood, Gooch, Greer, Hall, Henley, Kerr, Martha Jane King, McKee, Osborne, Short, Wuchner, and York)

Message: "I support House Bill 239 and am glad the committee is advancing the conversation we need to have about how renewable energy and energy efficiency investments can benefit all Kentuckians by hearing this bill."

 

Read the Lexington Herald Leader's editorial in favor of this bill.

Feb 24, 2011

Clean Energy Opportunity Act - House Bill 239 - Awaits A Hearing

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Feb 24, 2011 10:25 AM

The Clean Energy Opportunity Act, House Bill 239, sponsored by Reprsentative Mary Lou Marzian was assigned to the House Energy and Tourism Development committee. It awaits a hearing there.

The bill would establish a Renewable and Efficiency Portfolio Standard and long-term price guarantees for in-state renewable energy generators. Read more about the bill here.

Please call 1-800-372-7181 and thank House leaders for assigning the bill to a committee where it will be heard and thank Representative Combs for her willingness to hear the bill in committee.

Feb 18, 2011

Letter To Editor in Support of HB 239 In Today's Courier Journal

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Feb 18, 2011 11:18 AM

Written by Jeff Auxier of the Kentucky Solar Energy Society, a KySEA member

I write for the Kentucky Solar Energy Society. We promote efficiency, conservation and renewable energy. Solar works well in Kentucky. While it is not a “magic bullet” for all our energy needs, it can heat your water, warm your home and provide significant electricity. We need all types of energy. What solar can do, it should do.

On Feb. 1, Louisville's Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, introduced House Bill 239. The bill promotes energy efficiency and sets a renewable portfolio standard (RPS). An RPS requires utilities to procure renewable energy. Twenty-nine states have an RPS, including Illinois and Ohio (25 percent by 2025) and Missouri. The TVA has an RPS. West Virginia and Virginia have adopted renewable energy goals.

HB 239 sets a modest RPS of 12.5 percent by 2021. Even a modest RPS jump-starts clean energy, because utilities offer incentives to install systems, and customers jump at the opportunity. Utilities spread the cost (usually around 0.2 cents per kilowatt hours). Installers and maintenance folks establish themselves. A renewable energy industry blossoms.

The industry has already blossomed in nearby states. An Ohio company is set to install a large solar system on a Northern Kentucky school. A Wisconsin company recently installed a large solar hot water system at an Extendicare facility in Richmond, Ky. Companies in these states have scaled up, acquired expertise and are now doing Kentucky's work. Jobs, jobs, jobs — jobs that we are losing.

We must start the transition to a new energy infrastructure. Clean renewable energy promotes good health, builds our economy and aids our national security.

Please support HB 239 and urge your representatives and our leaders to do the same.


JEFF AUXIER
Chairman
Kentucky Solar Energy Society
Louisville 40217

Feb 15, 2011

Clean Energy Lobby Day Participants Tout Benefits of House Bill 239 to Legislators

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Feb 15, 2011 02:23 PM

Forty people, including many KySEA members, participated in a lobby day and press conference in Frankfort on Thursday, February 10th, 2011. Participants touted the benefits of clean energy contained in the Clean Energy Opportunity Act, House BIll 239, to more than twenty legislators with whom they met.

Two legislators - Tom Riner and Tom Burch- agreed to co-sponsor the bill after meetings. The bill, sponsored by Mary Lou Marzian, is already co-sponsored by Representatives Joni Jenkins and Jim Wayne. It has been assigned to the House Tourism Development and Energy Committee where it should have a hearing later this month.

Mary Lou Press ConferenceRepresentative Marzian hosted a press conference that day to present the bill and its benefits for Kentuckians. She said "This bill starts us looking towards the future and many legislators are ready for that."

Marzian discussed the health benefits of clean energy and compared passing clean energy policy to the long-term process of raising tobacco taxes in Kentucky. She mentioned that Kentucky was once known as a "tobacco state" just as many call us a "coal state" now, but state that label will disappear. "Change might take a little while but there will be a tipping point and it will come," Marzian said.

Speakers at the press conference presented how the bill will save Kentucky families money and create thousands of clean energy jobs.

Sherrie Davison, of Frontier Housing in Morehead, Ky, told the story of Betty Ruth Hoage, a 77-year old widow with asthma living on a fixed income of about 10,000 a year. With the help of grant money, Frontier Housing made efficiency improvements on Betty's home that have lowered her utility bills and improved her quality of life, making the home warmer, the air cleaner and lessening highway noise. And, the utility savings more than offset the $34 monthly loan that Betty took on to rehab the home.

"Affordable housing providers support this bill because it devotes more resources allowing low-income homeowners to overcome upfront barriers to efficiency efforts and increases housing stability for families with highest energy burdens. These kinds of improvements can increase the value of their home; decrease energy costs to the homeowner and the community," Davison said.

Matt Partymiller, of Solar Energy Solutions, focused on the job creation potential of House Bill 239 in his comments. "Kentucky should take this opportunity to build on a growing clean energy market and capitalize on newly implemented job training programs across the state by implementing clean energy incentives that lead to career-oriented jobs and business growth. We stand to gain a lot if we do - including, thousands of jobs, including many in manufacturing and millions of investment dollars. Now is the time for Kentucky to get a foothold in this growing economy and if we don't, we are all going to pay for it." Partymiller noted that Kentucky lost $3.5 million in contracts to out of state companies for solar installations done in Kentucky.

Jason Bailey, of the Mountain Association of Community Economic Development explained the bill mechanisms, pointing out that many states nearby to Kentucky have policy mechanisms similar to those contained in House Bill 239 already in place. For this reason, he stated, we know these things can work in Kentucky.

"The Clean Energy Opportunity Act is about recognizing that external change can mean homegrown opportunity for Kentucky, but only if we act early, plan wisely, and design solutions that citizens and business across the Commonwealth can benefit from," Bailey said.

 

Follow this blog to learn more about when a hearing on House BIll 239, the Clean Energy Opportunity Act, will take place. Take action today by calling 1-800-372-7181 and send a message to Representative Leslie Combs to thank her for hearing the bill and continuing this important conversation in Kentucky.

Feb 07, 2011

Lighten Up Frankfort!

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Feb 07, 2011 02:05 PM

Lighten Up Frankfort was made possible by a $25,000 Environmental Justice Small Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received jointly by the Frankfort Climate Action Network (FrankfortCAN) and Appalachia- Science in the Public Interest (both KySEA member groups).

Groups of individuals or members/employees of the participating organizations form teams of three to ten households that met four times and commit to actions that reduce each household’s greenhouse gas emissions. The teams use a workbook called “The Low Carbon Diet,” and the quantities used to project household cuts are based on estimates provided in the book.

The goal for LUF is to reduce Frankfort/Franklin County’s carbon footprint by 1,000 tons by the end of June.  At this time, the greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by 413 tons.  LUF now has 35 teams which have joined LUF.   

LUF now has a total of 239 participating households with 66 reports received.  

From the 22 teams which are still meeting and the teams which have been asked to join Lighten Up Frankfort, we anticipate having at least an 213 additional reporting households by the end of June.  The greenhouse gas emissions reduced by participants is 6.25 tons on average, which would result in a carbon footprint reduction of 1750 tons if our expectations are realized.

Feb 04, 2011

Reflections on the Kentucky Clean Energy Summit

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Feb 04, 2011 11:45 AM

Reflections in a Clear, 'Green' Mirror
by Cecile Schubert
Kentucky Environmental Foundation Volunteer

What more could one ask for?  A plethora of eclectic environmentalists gathering, discussing and sharing their expertise concerning the health and welfare of the planet...especially for Kentucky.

It was gratifying to see that the meeting room in the Campbell House was filled, with more than 150 people from 31 organizations, who are members of KYSea, and other interested groups. Get a group of environmentalists together and what are the conversations about ...energy efficiency, promoting clean and renewable energy, creating new jobs, enabling all residents and businesses to take advantage of energy solutions (i.e. efficiency savings, reduction in chronic diseases,--thus an improvement in our health & well-being, green jobs, affordable housing, ...and not just for the few).

Impressive to me was that the Summit presented varying 'ways to approach' "Clean Energy Opportunities".  Presentations ranged from "The Case for Clean Energy Policies in Kentucky" to "Making The Case For State-Based Clean Energy Policies". " to "Overview and Lessons from Neighboring States" with time for questions.

Information provided by a panel consisting of Jason Bailey from MACED, discussing "Trends Facing KY's Utility Sector", Elizabeth Crowe, Kentucky Environmental Foundation talking about "Human Health", Kristin Tracz "Job Creation Potential", Jim King of FAHE "Affordability For Families" and Doug Doerrfeld, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, "Environmental Quality" was up-do-date, impacting (almost unsettling) and easy to digest.

Of especial interest to me was data that demonstrated that if KY transitions away from coal by 2050, the health & well-being of Kentuckians could be impacted to such a degree that there could be up to savings of $48 billion in terms of health care costs.  Just imagine the improvement in the over all well-being of our families, the land, the air we breathe and the water we drink. Just imagine the relief for those of us who already suffer from asthma, chronic bronchitis,  and allergies. Just imagine the reduction in the diagnoses of cancer and tuberculosis.

Big thanks go to the good folks who planned the Summit--it was a roaring success in my opinion.  Many 'conferences' that gather in one room for two hours or more tend to find people using their computers for 'other things' or using their text messaging.  The participants at this summit were 'spot on' in their attention. Wow, what a breath of fresh air!!

Feb 03, 2011

Kentucky Clean Energy Summit - A Success!

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Feb 03, 2011 10:05 AM
Filed Under:

Many Kentuckians demonstrated that they are ready for the benefits that clean energy will bring to Kentucky by attending a conference sponsored by KySEAon the topic.

Hear an Appalshop-produced podcast on the day by clicking here.

Mary Love KCES IntroThe first-ever Kentucky Clean Energy Summit, brought 150 people together, including small business owners, housing groups, low-income advocacy organizations, legislators, energy experts, and concerned citizens.

Mary Miller of Midway, a board member of Kentucky Watershed Watch and a member of the Sierra Club and KFTC, came to the conference to learn more about how to communicate effectively with legislators. “I asked questions that I’ve been curious about forever,” she said. “It just makes you aware of what all’s going on and how these groups can work together,” Miller said.

During the day, summit speakers and attendees explored:

o    Policies that would increase use of energy efficiency and renewable energy in Kentucky
o    The benefits of these policies and why Kentucky should pass these now
o    Success stories from nearby states, including Ohio
o    The experiences of KySEA member organizations including small businesses and affordable housing providers that are utilizing energy efficiency and renewable energy today

The Clean Energy Opportunity Act, recently filed by Representative Mary Lou Marzian in the 2011 General Assembly and supported by KySEA, is a comprehensive clean energy bill that would set clean energy goals for Kentucky and provide incentives for clean energy businesses. Summit participants got a first look at what’s in the bill.

Carmen Stine and Shari Bivelacque of Alternative Energies Kentucky, a new business in Danville that manufactures solar panels, said starting a clean energy business in a state where there are no incentives or guidelines has been a challenge. Many of their clients are outside Kentucky.
“How do you sell to people who have no incentives to improve their situation and their carbon footprint?” said Stine.

“If there’s a financial incentive, then they start to listen,” said Bivelacque.

Getting state leaders on board will be key, Bivelacque said. “For us to get anywhere with this, it’s going to be all about education,” she said.

And jobs, according to Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, who sponsors the Clean Energy Opportunity Act, House Bill 239. “I think the job piece is what’s so important to effect policy change in Frankfort,” Marzian said.

Andy McDonald of Kentucky Solar Partnership said Kentucky needs to take a long-term view. “We really need long-term stable policies,” McDonald said. “There’s no point in getting trained if there’s not going to be jobs.”

David Brown Kinloch, who with his partners purchased and restored the Mother Ann Lee Hydroelectric Station on the Kentucky River, echoed the view that Kentucky needs to make a long-term investment in clean energy. In addition to his work in hydro power, Kinloch has researched wind power in Kentucky. “It’s a political problem, not a technical problem, why there isn’t wind in Kentucky,” he said.

Representatives of the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises (FAHE), Frontier Housing, Home Energy Partners and the Metropolitan Housing Coalition expressed their desire to see new policies that protect home owners, renters and low-income families from rising energy costs.

“I’ve heard a lot today about energy efficiency as a resource, and I really like that term,” said Vonda Poyner of FAHE, a regional nonprofit based in Berea that provides access to capital that creates housing and promotes community development.

Click here to download presentations from the day.

Feb 02, 2011

Clean Energy Opportunity Act - HB 239- Filed!

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Feb 02, 2011 08:30 AM

The Clean Energy Opportunity Act, now House BIll 239, was filed today by Representative Mary Lou Marzian. KySEA is supporting this bill as the primary means to move Kentucky's economy and energy forward.

The bill contains measures that would create jobs, save Kentucky's families, farms and businesses money and improve public health. Policy mechanisms in the bill include a Renewable and Efficiency Portfolio Standards and Feed In Tariffs.

Please read more about the bill's measures here.

Or, download this one-page handout about the bill.

Take these actions to support clean energy:

  1. Call your representative or senator today to tell them you support clean energy and this bill. Tell them why you care about clean energy and how you think this bill will affect you. 1-800-372-7181
  2. Join the Clean Energy Opportunity Act (HB 239) Webinar  - February 8th at 7 p.m.
    Take a close look at the mechanics of the clean energy bill that will be introduced this legislative session. This webinar is open to media. Link and call-in information will be provided to registrants prior to the date. Email nancy@kysea.org to participate.
  3. Attend the 
Clean Energy Lobby Day - February 10th, all day at the Capitol in Frankfort                                             Join KySEA for a full day of meetings with legislators aimed at having good conversations about the benefits of clean energy for Kentuckians and about the specifics of the Clean Energy Bill of 2011. The group will meet in room 111 of the Capitol Annex between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. Email nancy@kysea.org to sign up.

 

Calendar of Events

Larger version

Clean energy stories
Save money, create good jobs. Save money, create good jobs.

9,000 clean energy jobs could be created in Eastern Kentucky and save Eastern Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) customers money. Folks from throughout EKPC’s service area and beyond have joined in efforts to persuade the power company to make planning decisions that would create these good, green jobs.

Read more...

View more