Footnotes Issue #79: Jan 31st, 2014
Solar Freedom Introduced in Georgia House: HB 874
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Solar energy continues to be a hot topic in Georgia, and now the General Assembly is turning up the heat after the Public Service Commission has made great strides expanding solar in Georgia over the past year.
One of the biggest barriers to more wide-scale installations is access to financing. In many other states, companies work with customers to install solar panels and customers pay the company for the energy the panels produce. Our utilities claim they are the only ones who can sell you power, but that needs to be fixed. State Rep. Mike Dudgeon (R-John’s Creek) introduced HB 874, the Solar Power Free-Market Financing and Property Rights Act of 2014. Other bill sponsors are Buzz Brockway, Ed Setzler, Karla Drenner, Mike Jacobs and Ben Harbin.
Every Georgian who chooses to do so should be free to save money on electricity while increasing their own personal energy independence in a responsible way through the use of solar. Allowing for free-market financing of distributed clean energy will give every home and business owner--regardless of economic means--access to clean and affordable solar energy. Solar will also allow us to make a better tomorrow for our children and leave them with a better world.
We also support this legislation because solar is proven to create good, middle-class jobs and when used, it allows Georgian’s to keep more money in their pockets, money needed to put food on the table, put kids through schools, and pay medical expenses. Schools and governments that save costs by using solar help all of us keep more of our own money.
This bill will also help Georgia’s electric utilities reduce the expense of costly upgrades to our coal fleet, which will save both ratepayers and consumers more money. The price of electricity is built into every purchase, and more solar will help reduce the cost of everything we buy.
By making more electricity here in Georgia with solar, more of our dollars will stay in Georgia and stimulate Georgia’s economy and jobs, rather than be sent out of state to buy fuel for power-plants from non-Georgia companies. Our money should stay here, in Georgia.
Centennial Group Mourns the Loss of a Dedicated Member
Rush Netterville, a Centennial Group Executive Committee member and friend, passed away last week after a sudden and brief illness. His wife Angie is also a member of our Executive Committee family. Please keep Angie and her family in your thoughts and prayers as we honor the memory of Rush. Donations in his memory may be sent to the Sierra Club - Centennial Group via the Georgia Chapter at 743 E. College Ave, Suite B Decatur, GA 30030. Please make checks payable to "Sierra Club - Centennial Group" with "In Memory of Rush Netterville" in the note. For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sierra Club Meetings
Smart Energy Committee Meeting, Monday, February 3, 7:00 p.m.
Wildlands Committee Meeting, Tuesday, February 18, 7:00 p.m.
RAIL Committee Meeting, Monday, February 24, 7:00 p.m.
Feb 1 - Sierra Club 101 - You joined the Sierra Club to help protect the environment -- now what? Come learn about the Sierra Club and how to get involved in our local efforts. Open to members and non-members alike--bring a friend! Please register here so we can bring enough refreshments for everyone!
Feb 5 - Sierra Club & Beer: Water Under the Gold Dome - Every other month, Sierra Club and Beer provides a casual space (and great beer, from our friends at Red Hare Brewing Co.) for meeting like-minded people, while learning something new. This month, our speaker Chris Manganiello, Policy Director at Georgia River Network, will discuss water issues in the legislature. Please RSVP so we can bring enough brew for everyone!
Feb 8 - Sierra Club Outings Leader Training 101 - As a local outing leader, you have the opportunity to share your local wild areas with Sierra Club members and other community members - whether day hiking, peak scrambling, birdwatching, or multi day trekking. We are always looking for knowledgeable, passionate, outdoor-savvy people to join as Outings leaders. If that is you, why not become one, yourself? Click here for more information and to register.
Feb 19 - Capitol Conservation Day - Join the Georgia Water Coalition for its annual Conservation Day at the Gold Dome! The day kicks off with an issue briefing and tips on how to lobby, followed by a seasoned lobbyist showing you "the ropes" on the third floor of the Capitol. We'll get our picture taken with the Governor and our strong presence will remind our lawmakers that their constituents care about environmental protection. Join us at Central Presbyterian Church from 8:30 AM – 12 noon.
Save the Date! March 12 & 13 - Greenprints - Now in its 17th year, Greenprints is the premier convening of national thought leaders in sustainable design, construction and communities. On March 12 and 13, 2014 over 300 of these leaders will meet to explore issues related to green building, sustainable development and policy in the Southeast. Click here to Register!
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