South Snohomish County is going solar and residents and business owners are invited to participate

rp_Photo-Aug-08-3-24-08-PM-300x225.jpg

Solarize Campaigns are all the rage. Solarize is put out by a local non-profit (NWSEED) to help communities leverage group buying power for bulk discounts. A&R Solar was just selected as the preferred contractor by the South (Snohomish) County community group for their Solarize efforts. The first workshop is coming up soon on July 16th from 6:30-8pm at the Lynnwood Library. So spread the word! The press release is below.

####

Solarize South County is a citizen-led initiative to bring solar energy to homes and small businesses in several communities. A collaborative effort of Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (Northwest SEED), Snohomish County PUD, the City of Edmonds and a team of volunteers from Lynnwood, Edmonds and Woodway, Solarize South County is a time-limited initiative designed to help single family homeowners and small businesses purchase solar panels via a streamlined process and group discount. Registration is now open. The first workshop will be held July 16.

The Solarize South County initiative will include a PUD-registered solar installer (that’s us!), selected by a volunteer committee through a competitive process. Participants in the initiative will be eligible not only for the group discount, but also for the PUD’s Solar Express rebate of up to $2500 for residential customers and up to $10,000 for small businesses, along with federal and state incentives for solar energy.

To qualify for a free site assessment and community pricing, interested residents and business owners are invited to attend free educational workshops scheduled monthly, July through September. Registration for Solarize South County is now open at www.solarizewa.org/registration. Workshops are set for the following dates and locations:

• Wednesday, July 16, 6:30-8pm, Lynnwood Library (19200 – 44th Ave. West, Lynnwood)
• Tuesday, August 5, 6:30-8pm, Edmonds City Hall, Brackett Room (121 Fifth Ave. N., Edmonds)
• Wednesday August 20, 6:30-8pm, Lynnwood Library (19200 – 44th Ave. West, Lynnwood)
• Saturday, Sept 13, 10-11:30am, Edmonds City Hall, Brackett Room (121 Fifth Ave. N., Edmonds)
Please note that this program is only open to residents and small businesses in the following zip codes: 98026, 98037, 98036, 98043 and 98020.

For additional information, please visit www.solarizewa.org.

Gov. Inslee announces executive action to reduce carbon pollution and promote clean energy

April 29, 2014

Hoh Tribal Lands

Hoh Tribal Lands

Gov. Jay Inslee today signed an executive order outlining a series of steps to cut carbon pollution in Washington and advance development and use of clean energy technologies.

“This is the right time to act, the right place to act and we are the right people to act,” Inslee said in remarks delivered at Shoreline Community College’s Professional Automotive Training Center.

“We will engage the right people, consider the right options, ask the right questions and come to the right answers — answers that work for Washington.”

Inslee’s executive order builds on earlier studies and work groups to create an action plan in six key areas. It does not implement any new programs, instead setting out a deliberative and public process. Most of the major action plan elements listed below will require either legislative approval or legislative appropriation for funding.

The Legislature in 2008 adopted a timeline for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, calling for the state to meet certain emission limits in 2020, 2035 and 2050. Yet the consultant hired by Inslee’s Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup reported that the state “will not meet its statutory reductions for 2020, 2035 and 2050 with current state and federal policies.” The consultant noted that “near-term action” is needed to meet the 2020 limits and “decisive actions taken today can set Washington squarely on a long-term path” to achieve the 2035 and 2050 limits.

When the workgroup asked for public input, hundreds of citizens attended public hearings in Spokane and Seattle and thousands more submitted written comments. The vast majority called on the state to act to reduce carbon pollution.

“The workgroup listened,” Inslee said. “This year, we will lead.”

Legislators who helped lead the CLEW process hailed today’s action.

“Washington has the opportunity to lead the nation in developing a smart, effective climate policy that grows our economy, shrinks our pollution and saves households, families and businesses money,” said Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Seattle, who served on the panel. “We must keep in mind the fact that the longer we wait to reduce our emissions, the more expensive it will be to do so.”

Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, called the executive order a “bold action to advance Washington’s commitment to fighting climate change. These actions will not only develop specific Washington-based programs to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but will allow our children and grandchildren to experience a healthy Washington state — both environmentally and economically.”

The action plan elements call for these steps:

Reduce carbon emissions through new cap-and-market program

Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce composed of 21 leaders from business, labor, health and public interest organizations will provide recommendations to the governor on design and implementation of a market-based carbon pollution program.

Inslee directed the taskforce to consider measures to offset costs to consumers and businesses and to design strategies to help energy-intensive industries transition from carbon-based energy sources.

Rod Brown of the Cascadia Law Group and Ada Healey of Vulcan will co-chair the taskforce. The group will hold its first meeting today. Final recommendations are due Nov. 21, 2014.

“In Washington and across the nation, we’ve already begun to see the harm caused by climate change,” said Brown, a member of the Cascadia Law Group. “By acting now, we can protect Washingtonians while at the same time offering all of us the economic opportunities we see emerging in the clean energy economy.”

“We are proud to be one of the leading developers of green buildings in the Pacific Northwest,” said Jody Allen, president and CEO of Vulcan Inc. “My hope in having Ada Healey participate on this task force is that we can find ways to expand and replicate what we’ve learned all over Washington.”

End use of electricity generated by coal

Several state agencies will work with key utilities to reduce, and eventually eliminate, the use of electrical power produced by coal. Coal-generated electricity accounts for most of Washington’s electricity-related carbon emissions.

Develop clean transportation options and cleaner fuels

Cars, trucks and other transportation-related sources accounted for 44 percent of the state’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2010, with 23 percent coming from gasoline consumption.  This means vehicle emissions must be reduced to achieve significant reductions in overall carbon emissions.

The state Department of Transportation will lead other agencies and local governments to promote strategies, policies and investments that support electrification of our transportation system and lower emissions through greater use of transit and other transportation options.

In addition, the Office of Financial Management will lead a technical feasibility study and cost-benefit analysis of clean fuel standard options. Analyses will help determine whether a clean fuel standard would work in Washington and how such a standard should be implemented.

Accelerate development and deployment of clean energy technology

The Department of Commerce will work with Washington State University and others on creating a program to develop and deploy new technologies for renewable energy and energy efficiency as well as recommend proposals for funding.

Inslee also asked the Washington State University Energy Program to work with the Department of Commerce, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission and others to craft recommendations for advancing development and deployment of solar power.

Improve the energy efficiency of the places we work and live

One of the most cost-effective strategies for reducing carbon emissions is to use energy more efficiently. The Department of Commerce will work with WSU and others to develop a smart building program to help homeowners, developers, businesses and governments significantly boost the energy performance of public and private buildings.

Reduce state government’s carbon footprint

The Department of Enterprise Services will lead efforts to reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency throughout state government. “Resource stewardship” in state government is also one of the goals outlined in Inslee’s Results Washington, a performance management initiative.

policy brief on the Governor’s executive order is posted on the governor’s website here.

We all follow in someone’s footsteps

Today would have been my dad’s 71st birthday. It’s hard for me to believe that he passed away 3 years ago.

My dad was an incredible influence in my life. He was an entrepreneur, and thinking back it was him that inspired me to be one too. He helped me and A&R Solar through difficult times.

When we started I didn’t know how to write a contract, or an estimate, or just about anything. I had a passion and a vision I shared with my business partner Andy, and we had emotional and physical energy to pour into our business. If I had a problem big or small, my dad would help at the drop of a hat.

When we had early successes it was my dad who I called first. He of all the people in my life understood the hardship and hard work it took for us to achieve what we did. He was always hesitant to give too much advice, but I was always willing to hear what he would say. Well, I was always willing to hear his business advice…

He taught me how to have a healthy debate, negotiate, and have empathy for the people around me. He new how to lead just by being someone that people could look up to; by being generous; by being thoughtful; by caring. I hope that as I continue to grow up that I can follow in his footsteps.

Yesterday the Small Business Administration featured me as a success story. Yesterday I wish I could have called him with the news. Yesterday I would have heard his smile on the phone.

Today, I won’t celebrate my successes. I’ll celebrate his.