We need as many solar allies as we can get

By Bret Fanshaw
Solar Program Coordinator

As a large, citizen-based environmental organization, Environment America has always been mindful of how to wield people-power to stand up for our air, water and open spaces.

When it comes to our work on solar and clean energy, that’s definitely true. Over the years, we’ve helped to win significant victories to advance climate policy and renewable energy adoption in cities, states and with the federal government.

Environment America fought for the Clean Power Plan, the nation’s first ever federal plan to ramp up renewable energy and tackle global warming. Today we are fighting tooth and nail to continue state and local action to meet the goals of the plan, even as President Trump works to dismantle the federal pieces while backing away from the Paris Accord.

We’ve advocated for and won state renewable energy standards, energy efficiency programs, and better rooftop solar policy. We won a Million Solar Roofs bill in California more than a decade ago, making California a world leader in solar power. Today, we’re pushing both California and Massachusetts to pass 100 percent renewable energy legislation.

Locally, our Shining Cities campaign won a 25 percent solar commitment in Albuquerque last year. We’ll continue to push for greater solar adoption by cities, especially as more and more commit to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and seek to set 100 percent renewable energy targets. We also plan to get the nation’s colleges and universities to make 100 percent renewable commitments in the coming year.

We’ll continue to fight. Unfortunately, we know that despite all the benefits of renewable energy, we face serious opposition from fossil fuel interests, some major utilities and a pro-coal Trump administration.

So how can you help us make progress and continue to advance solar power?

For one, we all need to keep organizing like hell, bringing more people together to speak out in favor of a solar-powered society.

We also need to push the ball forward in other ways, helping you and your neighbors to take steps to actually install solar panels on your roof, while engaging and educating more citizens along the way.

That’s why, together with EnergySage, we’ve launched an exciting new tool that will make it easier to explore options for adopting solar power at your home or business.

EnergySage, an online solar marketplace, makes the process of going solar easier. Just go to the site and plug in your information, and it allows you to determine which of the many solar installers makes the most sense for you and your family.

Just last year, people who went solar through EnergySage avoided 25,000 tons of carbon pollution — the equivalent to taking 5,000 cars off the road.

By powering your home with solar energy, you can help to act on climate change and ramp up clean energy in your neighborhood.

As more Americans take action on issues they care about by calling Congress, speaking out at town halls and taking to the streets, actually going solar on your roof is another great way to make a direct impact on the future of our environment and our lives. Not to mention, you could save some money on your electric bill.

As organizers, the more citizens with solar panels on their roofs means a larger movement of pro-clean energy consumers. With more Americans invested, literally, in solar power than ever before, we have a good chance to keep fighting — and winning — the battles that will help us ramp up renewable energy even more in the years to come.

If 100 percent renewable energy is our goal, we can’t achieve it without lots and lots of people putting solar panels on their roofs. The clean energy revolution has to include everyone, and that’s why we want to make it as easy as possible for folks to tap into solar energy.

Check out our site with EnergySage and see if solar could work for you — and tell your friends and neighbors! We need as many solar allies as we can get.