Big solar moves at the D.C. Council

By Zach Schalk on May 17, 2018

The D.C. Council recently continued its history of supporting solar legislation with actions this month.

Thanks to you and other solar advocates in our network sending hundreds of emails to the Wilson Building, the Council unanimously passed an important bill expanding our solar access rights. The Solar Cooperative Association Expansion Amendment Act of 2017 prohibits homeowners’ associations and co-ops from arbitrarily restricting solar installations.

Now it’s time to turn our attention to the future of solar energy in the District.

The Council is currently considering an historic plan to require our local utility to obtain 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050, including 17% from solar power (up from the current standard of 50% renewables by 2032 with 5% from solar). While there’s still a lot of work to do, this bill is a great start for securing D.C.’s renewable energy future. And with your help we can fight to make that future equitable and inclusive.

What will tripling solar generation mean for the city? To meet the 17% solar carve-out, the District will need to generate hundreds more MW of solar electricity. That translates to lower and more predictable electric utility bills, thousands of new jobs, tens of millions of dollars in additional economic activity, and massive solar-related cost savings from improved grid resiliency.

Solar United Neighbors supports the bill, but we also think it should be improved by including funding important for energy equity programs like Solar for All, a program of the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy and the Environment, so that all D.C.’s residents, particularly lower income families, can benefit directly from solar.

Please contact the Council now to voice your support for the “One Hundred Percent Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Amendment Act of 2018.” Tell them you want them to modify the bill to ensure that all residents have the opportunity to go solar, and that you’re proud that our city is building a clean energy economy for all.