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Feb 22, 2015

Take action on Clean Energy Bills

by Lisa Abbott — last modified Feb 22, 2015 11:25 AM

Please take a moment to contact Kentucky legislators in support of these clean energy policies!
 
You can contact lawmakers through the legislative message line (1-800-372-7181) or by sending an email message through the General Assembly's website. You can usually leave multiple messages with just a single phone call.

1)   Action Item #1: Please call or email your own Representative, members of the House Tourism and Energy Committee, and House Leadership. Ask them to support and hold a hearing on SB 190, the Clean Energy Opportunity Act. This bill asks utilities in Kentucky to ramp up their renewable energy generation and energy efficiency programs over the next ten years. 
 
2)   Action Item #2: Please call or email your own Representative, members of the House Tourism and Energy Committee, and House Leadership. Ask them to support and hold a hearing on HB 339, the Clean Energy Opportunity Act. This bill asks utilities in Kentucky to ramp up their renewable energy generation and energy efficiency programs over the next ten years.
 
Thank you for all you do.

Jan 22, 2014

2014 Clean Energy Lobby Day

by Erik Hungerbuhler — last modified Jan 22, 2014 05:00 PM
Filed Under:

Capitol Solar Install

Your voice is needed to make the case for clean energy policies in Kentucky that can generate thousands of good new jobs and help our families and businesses save money by saving energy.

HB 195, sponsored by Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, is a practical and powerful way to jumpstart investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy across our Commonwealth. The bill is modeled on policies already working well and creating jobs in places like Ohio and North Carolina, along with about 30 other states. With a slumping economy and energy bills running high, Kentuckians are looking for meaningful solutions. HB 195 would generate about 28,000 net new jobs in the Commonwealth over the next decade. Ten years from now, average electric bills in Kentucky are projected to be 8-10% lower under this bill than under a “business as usual” scenario.

Join with members of the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance for a Clean Energy Lobby Day in Frankfort on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. 

Let us know if you plan to attend by registering today!

Here’s a brief run down of our schedule on February 5th:

  • Meet in Room 125 of the Capitol annex in Frankfort from 9 am to 11:45 am, we will then switch to Room 129 (next door) from 11:45 am-1 pm. 

  • Talk with lawmakers between 9 am and 1 pm.

  • Reconvene in Room 129 of the Capitol Annex from 2 to 4 pm for a coalition meeting of the KY Sustainable Energy Alliance.

We will offer a webinar on Monday, February 3rd at 7 pm EST/6 pm CST to review key information about the bill and the case for clean energy policies in Kentucky. Here’s how to join that call:

  • To view the slide show, go to www.readytalk.com. Then enter access code: 8931147.

  • To join the phone call, dial 866-740-1260 and then enter access Code: 8931147.

We will try to schedule as many appointments as possible with legislators on February 26th. And we will do our best to match you with any meetings that are scheduled with legislators from your region. However, if you have a good relationship with specific legislators, it’s a good idea for you to reach out to them yourself to set up an appointment. Please do let us know if you’ve confirmed a meeting so that we don’t duplicate efforts. You can send any related updates to Carrie@kysea.org or lisa@kysea.org.

Can't make it to Frankfort?

Of course, if you can’t make it to Frankfort on February 26th, you can still make your voice heard by calling or emailing your legislators and asking them to support HB 195. The toll-free message line to all legislators is 1-800-372-7181. You can also send an email message to any legislator through this website: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Legislators.htm

Feel free to contact lisa@kysea.org with questions or updates.

We look forward to seeing you in Frankfort.

Jan 18, 2013

Resources about the Clean Energy Opportunity Act

by Lisa Abbott — last modified Jan 18, 2013 08:40 AM
Filed Under:

More than 25 individuals from Whitesburg to Paducah tuned in recently for a webinar about making our voices heard for clean energy.

As promised, here are links to the slideshow and other materials to support good conversations about the opportunity and need for clean energy policies in Kentucky.

1) Slides from the January 17, 2013 webinar

2) A recent report detailing faulty claims used by the American Legislative Exchange Council to attack state-based renewable energy standards. 

3) Fact sheet about the 2012 Clean Energy Opportunity Act. (The information on this fact sheet is still accurate, but the bill will receive a new number when it is refiled in February 2013. We'll post an updated fact sheet at that time.)

Thanks for your interest and good work.

Jan 08, 2013

Making our voices heard

by Lisa Abbott — last modified Jan 08, 2013 03:04 PM

As the KY General Assembly convenes this month, your voice is needed to help make the case for Clean Energy policies in Kentucky.

The Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance is encouraging our members to set up in-district meetings with your State Representative and/or Senator on January 29th. (If you can't get an appointment that day, try for a meeting any time during the week of January 28-February 1st).

These conversations are valuable opportunities to build relationships with lawmakers and discuss the benefits of policies to expand energy efficiency and renewable energy in our state.

To help you prepare for an effective conversation with your legislator(s), we are offering a webinar at 8 pm EST on Thursday, January 17th. We'll review  key messaging points, examples and data about the case for clean energy policies in Kentucky. And we'll discuss steps you can take to set up a meeting with your local legislator before he or she returns to Frankfort in February.

Interested? Follow this link to sign up for the Jan 17th webinar and express your interest in organizing or participating in an in-district meeting with a local legislator in late January. We'll follow-up with more information to help you get started. 

We have an opportunity right now to curb energy costs and create thousands of new jobs by growing Kentucky's clean energy resources and taking measures to save money by saving energy. Please sign up today to make your voice heard!

Jun 05, 2012

Raise Your Voice About Kentucky's Budget & Clean Energy

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Jun 05, 2012 02:35 PM

Renewable energy and energy efficiency offer real opportunities for Kentucky to put people to work and get our economy back on track, curb our energy costs, and improve our health and well-being. A study released last year by Synapse Energy Economics suggested that Kentucky can create 28,000 jobs in 10 years in this sector. Tax policy is an essential tool to capitalize on Kentucky's clean energy potential.

A Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform has been appointed to study and build consensus around tax reforms that meet the guidelines of fairness, competitiveness, simplicity and compliance, elasticity and adequacy.  

As part of the process, the Commission will be holding Public Meetings across Kentucky. Kentuckians are invited to share their best ideas about needed state tax reforms--ideas that will shape the Commission's recommendations for the 2013 General Assembly.

Clean energy development is an important opportunity for the state's future that tax policy can help support. Use your voice to highlight the important connection between the state budget and the growth of sustainable energy in Kentucky.


Please plan to speak up in the meeting near you!

Blue Ribbon Commission Meetings

Southern Kentucky/Bowling Green: Tuesday June 19, 6-8 pm 
-- Greenwood High School Auditorium, 5065 Scottsville Road, Bowling Green

Louisville Area: Tuesday July 10, 6-8 pm -- 
Location TBA

Northern Kentucky: Tuesday July 24, 6-8 pm
 -- Student Union Ballroom, 20 Kenton Drive, Highland Heights

East KY: Tuesday Aug 7, 6-8 pm 
-- Big Sandy Community & Technical College, Gearheart Auditorium,1 Bert T Combs Drive, Prestonsburg
Central Kentucky/Lexington: Tuesday Aug 21, 6-8 pm
 Bryan Station High School, 201 Eastin   Road, Lexington

Here are some ideas about how about how our tax policy that can advance and support sustainable energy solutions:

1. Increase revenue fairly in order to improve funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, while not placing additional burden on those Kentuckians already hit hardest by rising energy costs.

Kentucky has had successful programs that weatherize homes, provide energy audits, and support pilot projects around renewable energy and energy efficiency.  The state plays an important role in helping catalyze new ideas and provide energy services to those not otherwise served, including low-income Kentuckians. Some of those efforts have been funded with Recovery Act and other federal monies. But that funding has now ended or been cut, and the state lacks the resources to continue those successful efforts and maintain our momentum. That is one reason why any tax reform effort should result in more revenue for these needs in addition to the state's many other needs in education, health and other areas.

Any plan to raise revenue should also adhere to the Commission's stated guideline of fairness. Low and moderate income Kentuckians are already hardest hit by the rapidly rising costs of energy in our state. They should benefit from additional revenue to support sustainable, cost-curbing energy efforts, not shoulder the costs.
 
2. Include targeted incentives to clean energy development as part of tax reform.

Many consumer investments in clean energy make good economic sense along with the benefits they provide for health and the environment. But sometimes the up-front cost of those investments can be a barrier to consumers and businesses. Well-designed, targeted incentives that reduce the cost to consumers of investments in things like insulation, energy efficient appliances, and small-scale renewable energy systems can help overcome those barriers, and would be a positive addition to a tax reform plan.
 
3. Eliminate unfair subsidies to polluting energy sources in a tax reform plan.

Kentucky provides tax subsidies that unfairly give preference to fossil fuels, and taxes the severance of coal at levels lower than many other states and lower than their true cost to our communities. The state's tax expenditure report lists 19 different tax preferences under the category of "Energy Development and Coal Industry Support" and 14 under the category "Environmental Conservation and Historical Preservation," many of which are also energy or coal related. But these tax preferences receive practically no scrutiny. We could save money for needed investments by closely reviewing these and other tax preferences and eliminating those that move Kentucky in the wrong direction.

 

Written Comments

You can leave written comments on the topic at the Commission's website.

Some Additional Resources:
Kentucky Tax Expenditure Report: Details just what we have been spending our money on over the years.

Impact of Coal on Kentucky’s State Budget:  Details that Kentucky spent $115 million more on coal (through direct spending and tax breaks) than we brought in from revenue from coal in 2006. By Mountain Association for Community Economic Development.

Feb 22, 2012

Feb 28th: Join us in Building Kentucky's Clean Energy Momentum

by Lauren McGrath — last modified Feb 22, 2012 12:55 PM


Kentuckians are ready to reap the benefits of clean energy. Energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions are already working in Kentucky to reduce energy costs, create jobs and improve our health and well-being. But new policies are needed before we can realize the full benefits of this transition.. We can’t afford for Kentucky’s workers, families and businesses to be left behind as other states ramp up their investments in one of the fastest growing sectors of our national economy.

Your voice is needed to urge Kentucky’s General Assembly to pass HB 167, the Clean Energy Opportunity Act. 

Solar Capitol InstallHB 167, sponsored by Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, asks utilities in Kentucky to gradually increase the share of their electricity mix that comes from renewables and energy efficiency. A recent study projects that over the next ten years this could create 28,000 net new jobs and result in lower average bills, compared to the “do nothing” scenario. 

Here are two ways you can help support this important legislation:

1) Call the toll-free message line (1-800-372-7181) and leave a message for your state Senator and state Representative. A suggested message is: It’s time to invest in clean energy solutions that can put Kentuckians to work and curb energy costs for families, farms and businesses. Please support HB 167.”

2) Come to Frankfort on Tuesday, February 28 to participate in a lobby day sponsored by the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance. You don’t have to be an expert. We’ll provide materials and a quick orientation in Room 113 of the Capitol Annex starting at 9 a.m. Then you’ll set out in small groups to talk with legislators about the benefits of HB 167 and clean energy solutions. Please let us know if you plan to attend by registering here - https://docs.google.com/a/kftc.org/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHVFd2xkSTJfY2h2cUZSb1JRZHVPemc6MQ#gid=0 

 

More Information:

More information about HB 167 and the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance can be found at www.kysea.org

A factsheet about HB 167 can be found here: http://www.kysea.org/legislative-policy-work

A recent article by Matt Partymiller, operating manager of Solar Energy Solutions, can be found here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/02/14/2067838/ky-voices-encourage-power-companies.html#storylink=misearch

A copy and executive summary of the recent study about the jobs potential of HB 167 can be found here: http://www.maced.org/REPS-release.htm

 

Oct 25, 2011

Join Us: Solar Energy To Be Discussed in Frankfort Tomorrow!

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Oct 25, 2011 04:36 PM

The interim joint committee on local government will host a "discussion on solar energy" tomorrow, October 26th, in Frankfort at 10 am in the Capitol Annex room 171.

 

Join us to support Matt Partymiller and Denis Oudard of Solar Energy Solutions and the Kentucky Solar Energy Society, both member groups of KySEA.

 

The committee is co-chaired by Senator Damon Thayer and Representative Steve Riggs. Both are interested to learn about the opportunity Kentucky has to advance solar energy and how local governments can take action.

 

For more information, email jeff@kysea.org or denis@kysea.org.

 

 

Sep 05, 2011

Kentucky Home Performance Program Offers Kentuckians Improved Home Efficiency

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Sep 05, 2011 09:01 PM

KY Home Performance is a statewide HOME PERFORMANCE with ENERGY STAR program that offers Kentucky homeowners to invest in the comfort and energy efficiency of their homes with convenience and confidence. By enrolling in the program, homeowners can choose from a cash rebate of up to $2000 or a 3.99 percent loan of up to $20,000 for the recommended energy-saving work.

What do they mean by ‘Performance’?
We measure a car’s performance by miles per gallon or MPG.  Likewise, a home that stays comfortable using minimal energy is a high performing home. KY Home Performance helps lower improve home efficiency in a variety of ways, with a formula for improvement specific to each home.

How does a homeowner get started?
To get started, homeowners can log onto KYHomePerformance.org and use a free self-assessment program called Home Energy Compass. To get started right away, skip the diagnostic tool and use the website to select a KY Home Performance certified evaluator. Schedule a home evaluation with the auditor to get a whole house energy evaluation.

What does a KY Home Performance certified evaluator do?
KY Home Performance certified home energy evaluators will review the home in detail and find out precisely how the home is losing energy and money.  This is a ”whole-house” approach that does not look at just one system or component in isolation, but assesses all of them as part of an integrated system.  With KY Home Performance on-line software, evaluators can show how cost-effective improvements will raise the home’s comfort, air quality, and energy performance.

What happens next?
Once the KY Home Performance evaluation is complete, homeowners will be provided a list of cost-effective improvements.  A minimum set of these must be made in order to qualify for the program financial incentives.  Home energy improvements above this minimum standard are optional.  All work will be performed by a KY Home Performance-approved installer chosen from the website.  Homeowners can apply for either a cash rebate of up to $2000 or a low-interest rate loan of up to $20,000 for ten years at 3.99 percent to finance all KHP-approved work.

Ky Home Performance Quality Assurance
Once the energy improvements have been made, the homeowner will get a post-installation inspection to insure that the intended energy benefits were successful and meet Ky Home Performance standards for the loan or rebate. Ky Home Performance seeks to raise home energy efficiency by a minimum of 20 percent.

Interested? Want to learn more? Log on to KyHomePerformance.org and get started today!

Aug 09, 2011

The Weather Has Been Hot....

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Aug 09, 2011 04:45 PM

By Tim Darst, Executive Director of Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light, a KySEA group member.

The weather has been the hot topic (pun intended) of many of our conversations these days, so it seems an appropriate time for me to talk about air conditioning.  The power plants are going full steam to produce enough energy to power all the AC we are demanding.  Finding ways to reduce our energy used for air conditioning can help reduce the air pollution and save money at the same time. 

Finding ways to reduce our energy used for air conditioning can help reduce the air pollution and save money at the same time.

Turning the thermostat up a few degrees is too obvious and often contentious so I won’t even mention it.  Instead let’s look at AC competition.  There are many things that are trying to heat up our house while the AC is trying to cool it, like appliances and windows.  These cause the condenser to run longer. 

Here are some of my suggestions:  Try running your washer, washing machine and dryer at night instead of during the day.  These appliances put off heat that not only competes with the AC, but uses electricity during the peak production hours.  If you can, dry your clothes outside on a clothes line.  Avoid using the oven if possible.  Heat things up using a microwave instead, or grill outside.  My neighbors have a portable single burner that they put on their patio to cook with.  Unplug computers, cell phone charges, televisions and other devices that can put off heat even when turned off.  Don’t use incandescent bulbs; they really put off some heat!  Turn off any lights you really don’t need.   Closing blinds and curtains to keep the sun out can make a big difference.  Have awnings installed.  When you take a shower run the exhaust fan to get rid of the humidity.  Likewise the fan on your stove top can expel the heat while cooking.  Using ceiling fans can circulate the air and make it feel cooler.  Dress down to stay cooler.  Drink lots of cold drinks and don't do things that require a lot of physical activity.  Here’s your permission to relax.  Take cold showers.  Before it gets hot, clean your air filters so that your AC runs efficiently.  Keep plants and debris from accumulating close to your central AC unit outside your house.  It needs room for air to flow.

Here are some more radical ideas if you’re up to it:  Buy a solar oven to cook with.  Open the windows at night when it cools down then seal in that cool air before the day heats up and avoid the AC all together.  Turn off the AC and spend your time at cool places away from the house like swimming pools, coffee houses or the library.  Put shutters on the outside of your windows to keep the sun out.  Plant shade trees on the south side of your house.  Shade your AC condenser, it runs better when not sitting in the blazing sun.  Install solar panels on your roof to provide shade while creating clean energy.

Good luck and stay cool!

Mar 03, 2011

Clean Energy Bill Heard - "All Options On The Table"

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Mar 03, 2011 08:10 PM

"All options on the table is what we're going for," responded Representative Jill York to testimony provided by House Bill 239 sponsor Mary Lou Marzian and KySEA members in support of the bill.

"All options on the table is what we're going for..." - Rep. Jill York

Representative Leslie Combs, chair of the House Tourism Development and Energy committee where the bill was presented for a discussion only hearing today, set a positive tone for bill testimony in her opening statement. "I like to consider myself open-minded and I am open to all ideas that are for the benefit of the people."

Daymon and JeffJeff Chapman-Crane, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth member and a constituent of Combs from Letcher County, joined a room full of people that attended the hearing to support the bill's discussion. He praised the chairwoman's efforts after the hearing was over. "I was pleased that she was willing to hear this bill and it is a good sign for any legislator from Eastern Kentucky to do this. I complement her leadership."

Pictured (left to right): Archie Fields and Jeff Chapman-Crane

If enacted, House Bill 239 - the Clean Energy Opportunity Act - would establish gradual renewable and efficiency targets that utilities would meet over time and long-term renewable energy price guarantees for renewable energy producers. The bill would also require investments to improve housing efficiency for low-income families.

HB 239 testimony

Above (left to right): Jason Bailey, Jim King, Matt Partymiller, Rep. Mary Lou Marzian

Jim King, Executive Director of the Federation for Appalachian Housing Enterprises, testified about why affordable housing groups across the state support the bill:

"The current course of energy in the Commonwealth is a threat to families in need of affordable housing. If energy continues to rise at the course it is rising now, assuming no changes, the average utility bill will double by 2015. This is a high burden for low-income families - the same families that live in the homes that are the biggest energy users. People are facing an 'eat or heat' situation."

King said that the bill would improve energy affordability for the families that FAHE and other affordable housing groups serve and create local jobs in Appalachian Kentucky.

Matt Partymiller, Operating Manager of Solar Energy Solutions, told legislators just how many jobs would be created and how much money Kentucky could attract if this bill were enacted. He stated that implementing a state REPS is a signal to national and international renewable energy production and manufacturing companies that Kentucky is making in a long-term commitment to a new energy market. And this signal will bring jobs.

Matt slidePartymiller  noted that millions of dollar in contracts for renewable energy installation in Kentucky were awarded to out-of-state companies in 2010 and expects to see the same thing happen this year. He also pointed out that due to commitments to renewable energy that exist at the state level in Ohio and within the TVA utility service area in Tennessee, both states had attracted billions in manufacturing investments in the last two years.

Right: A slide from Matt Partymiller's presentation showing a solar installation at the University of Kentucky

"When you look at the jobs we've lost in construction and manufacturing, this is an opportunity to give some of these workers jobs," bill sponsor Mary Lou Marzian said.     

If we do nothing? "We will continue to see jobs going to other states," Partymiller said. "For all the installations I have done, I have bought parts from OH, IN and TN. It's unfortunate that we don't see the development of these products here in Kentucky."

A couple of committee members had already seen the benefits of renewable manufacturing investments in their districts. Representatives Harmon, McKee, Kim King, Martha Jane King and York pointed out connections they had in their own districts to the issues raised by the speakers.

"I like to brag on Corning in my district." Rep. Kim King said. "They are now making glass for solar panels." A glass and ceramic making company, Corning Inc. is headquartered in Harrodsburg, Ky.

"I am excited for you all to be here," echoed Rep. Martha Jane King. "Hemlock Semiconductor, which makes a raw material for solar panels, is just over the county line from us. Their $2.5 billion dollar investment is spilling over into our counties and bringing jobs and investment. I think we need to look to the future."

Hemlock Semiconductor opened up operations in Clarksville, TN in January of 2009 and is expected to create 900 jobs when fully operational. They were attracted to Clarksville in part due because TVA, the electric utility that serves the area, offers 10-year price guarantees for renewable energy production. These price guarantees - similar to one of the policy mechanisms contained in House Bill 239 - are driving up the use of solar panels in the region.

York said that she had not realized the manufacturing job potential of enacting this type of legislation prior to the hearing. She also said she appreciated the tone set by Rep. Combs and Marzian during the proceedings.

"All options on the table is what we are going for. When we lose the adversarial nature, we can really look at what is on the table."

 

Please consider calling to thank Representative Combs and House Leadership for allowing this discussion to take place.

Call: 1 (800) 372-7181

Message: "Thank you for promoting good discussion about House Bill 239 and the tremendous benefits that clean energy can bring to Kentuckians. Let's work together towards a favorable vote on it next year!"

 

 

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 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.

 

Aug 20, 2010

Upcoming Workshop and Rally Focused on Appalachian Transition

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Aug 20, 2010 08:50 AM

Join a conversation about transition in Appalachia through a conference and mass mobilization day in Washington D.C. The events aim to advance the dialogue about current energy extraction practices, with a specific focus on ending mountaintop removal coal mining, and advocate for a renewable energy future for Appalachia on a national stage


Appalachia Rising"We envision a vibrant weekend during which thousands will learn about the challenges Appalachia faces and ways to build a movement to end the destruction and plant the seeds of a sustainable and prosperous Appalachia," said the organizers of the events.

The conference, entitled Voices from the Mountains, will be held on September 25-26, 2010. Organizers of the Voices from the Mountain conference are planning a space for regional participants to grow and connect through strategy sessions, workshops, learning, and cultural events. Topics will include both exploration of the issues facing the region and ways to move forward.

The day following the conference, September 27th, many people from the Appalachian region will gather with conference attendees for a day of mobilization and rallying on Capitol Hill. 2000 people, including movement leaders from the region, celebrities such as Ashley Judd and Silas House, and many Appalachian residents are expected to gather.

Visit www.appalachiarising.org to register for these events or to learn more.

Mar 01, 2010

Take Action Now For Clean Energy in Kentucky!

by Martin Richards — last modified Mar 01, 2010 05:50 AM
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It must be March, because it’s crunch time in the Kentucky General Assembly. This is a critical week for Kentuckians to make our voices heard in favor of clean energy solutions. Do you have three minutes today?

The Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance is enthusiastically supporting HB 408, legislation introduced by Rep. Harry Moberly to promote the growth of clean energy jobs in every Kentucky community, while also helping our families and businesses to save energy and money by becoming more energy efficient.

 

At this time HB 408 is the only bill before the legislature to encourage greater investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency. HB 408 creates incentives necessary for utility companies to make greater investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, and holds them accountable for making progress towards ten-year goals.

 

We anticipate that other proposals from House Leadership and the Beshear Administration will be announced this week. Now is a critical time for legislators to hear from people back home in support of the clean energy solutions contained in HB 408. Let them know that you want strong, clean energy legislation to pass in 2010!

 

Please call toll-free message line in Frankfort TODAY to urge action on proposals to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy in Kentucky. The helpful people who answer the phone will direct each message to the right legislators, even if you aren’t sure who represents your area. The line is open until 11 p.m.

Call: 1-800-372-7181

Ask to leave a message for: “House and Senate Leadership, your Senator and Representative, and members of the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Energy Committee.”

Message: “Please support HB 408 to create clean energy jobs across Kentucky and help our families and businesses save energy and money.”

More information about HB 408:

HB 408 creates incentives necessary for utility companies to make greater investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, and holds them accountable for making progress towards ten-year goals.

 

Specifically, HB 408:

  • Requires utilities in Kentucky to increase the share of their electricity that comes from renewable sources from about 2% currently to 12.5% by 2020.
  • Requires utilities to help their industrial, commercial and residential customers reduce their energy use by 10.5% over the next ten years through energy efficiency programs.
  • Ensures that energy efficiency programs will be available for all customers, including low-income families who are the most vulnerable in the face of rising energy costs.
  • Creates a “feed-in tariff,” to encourage private investment in renewable energy technologies. Feed-in tariffs are a proven way to drive investment and expand employment in renewable energy.

 

Details, including fact sheets about the bill, can be found at www.kysea.org/legislative-policy-work.

 

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