Letter To Editor in Support of HB 239 In Today's Courier Journal
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.
Kentucky Solar Energy Society