Massachusetts was the first deregulated state to decide that the town or city should be the default supplier in the event that customers do not choose a new electric supplier. Individual customers are always free to opt out and choose their own supplier, but if they do nothing their community represents them. Continue reading
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Because customer-owned utilities are democratic and locally controlled, and service rather than profit oriented, we should encourage their formation. In today’s topsy-turvy electricity world, states should encourage the formation not only of customer-owned distribution utilities, but public transmission utilities and generation utilities as well.
New Jersey was first state in the country to ban large tractor-trailers from its state roads and highways. The restriction, went into effect in July 1999, confined large trucks (more than 102 inches wide) that were not doing business in the state to interstate highways and the National Network, a system of major highways and connector roads. Continue reading
Vermont, Oregon, Gainesville, FL, and the Canadian province of Ontario have recently adopted feed-in tariffs for renewable energy, allowing any prospective renewable energy producer will get a guaranteed connection to the grid, a long term contract to sell their power, and a fixed price sufficient to recover their costs plus a reasonable profit. We believe that feed-in tariffs could turbocharge state level renewable electricity standards, reduce costs, and spread the economic benefits across many more project owners.
This ordinance applies a suite of energy conservation and renewable energy requirements to both residential and commercial development. Some provisions apply to new building projects while others apply to remodeling projects at existing buildings. One of these is a requirement to prepare the building for the installation of future photovoltaic systems. Continue reading
Two proposals were signed into law in 2005 in Washington. The new laws put distributed generation and renewable energy on the fast track in the state. The first bill (SB 5101) establishes a renewable energy production incentive that is larger if the equipment comes from in-state manufacturers. The second bill (SB 5111) provides corporate tax breaks for solar energy businesses in the state based on their sales. Continue reading
Effective January 1, 2008, Oregon now requires that all construction of new "public buildings" or major renovations comprising more than 50% of the existing building’s total value “contain an amount equal to at least 1.5% of the total contract price for the inclusion of appropriate solar energy technology in the public building. Continue reading
In 2006, California enacted a "Million Solar Roofs" law. The bill reiterates and supplements the California Public Utilities Commission’s$2.9 billion California Solar Initiative. The new law extends the PUC solar energy incentives initiative to publicly-owned utilities -municipal and cooperatives. Including the publicly-owned utilities, the PUC must limit the cost of the California Solar Initiative to $3.35 billion over the next 10 years. Continue reading
The Calilfornia Solar Water Heating and Efficiency Act of 2007 (AB1470), creates a 10-year program aimed at installing 200,000 solar water heaters in homes and businesses using a $250 million fund. The law authorizes the California Energy Commission to “impose the surcharge at a level that is necessary to meet the goal of installing 200,000 solar water heating systems…" Continue reading
This law required the Department of General Services, in consultation with the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, to ensure that solar energy equipment is installed, no later than January 1, 2007, on all state buildings and state parking facilities where feasible, as specified. Continue reading