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Monday, June 17, 2013

Please show your support for Clean Energy Choice

RENEW Wisconsin, Clean Wisconsin, and the Sierra Club are pushing for the State of Wisconsin to adopt "a policy expressly allowing customers to enter into contracts with third parties who install, own and operate a renewable energy system at the customer's premises." This initiative is called "Clean Energy Choice" and is one way to greatly expand solar energy installation in Wisconsin. 

The Eau Claire County Board, under the leadership of Chairman Gregg Moore, is considering a resolution in support of Clean Energy Choice in Wisconsin on Tuesday, June 18 at 7:00PM in the County Boardroom.
 Later this summer, a similar resolution will go in front of the Eau Claire City Council. La Crosse County and Dane County have already passed resolutions, and if enough municipalities do so the State of Wisconsin will hopefully be compelled to act.  Please use the Clean Energy Choice talking points below to guide you when you contact your county supervisor before Tuesday:

RENEW’s “Clean Energy Choice” Initiative  

Talking Points

Wisconsin must adopt a policy expressly allowing customers to enter into contracts with third parties who install, own and operate a renewable energy system at the customer’s premises.

  •  Current ambiguities in public utility law interfere with customers’ ability to access clean energy produced on their premises. Clean Energy Choice affirms their right to decide how they wish to purchase or implement a renewable energy system for their site.

  •   Because the third party owner provides the up-front capital under this arrangement, this policy will greatly expand the number of energy users who can afford to host wind, solar or biogas systems serving their homes or businesses.

  •  In contrast to standard utility electric service, purchasing energy directly from a renewable energy system enables households and businesses to lock in predetermined prices for 10 years or longer.

  •   In contrast to renewable energy purchased from utilities through their green power programs, the price of energy from a third-party owned renewable energy system does not increase or decrease as a result of short-term fluctuations in the cost of conventional energy.

  •  Clean Energy Choice will enable nonprofit entities to team up with for-profit companies that can take full advantage of federal tax incentives, such as the 30% Investment Tax Credit and accelerated depreciation.

  •  Earlier this year, the U.S. military solicited bids from businesses and developers to supply its bases and facilities with renewable energy produced by third parties on-site. The total amount of the pending solicitation is $7 billion. Unfortunately, without a Clean Energy Choice policy in place, there were no bids from companies to install renewables in Wisconsin.

  • Energy from a third party-owned system either flows to the customer directly, offsetting consumption, or is sold to the utility under an approved tariff. The rate impact from these installations would be negligible.

  • Clean Energy Choice would help households and businesses overcome the diminishing supply of renewable energy incentive dollars available from Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program and utilities at no extra cost to ratepayers and taxpayers.

  • Clean Energy Choice will greatly expand market opportunities for Wisconsin companies and their employees who are part of the state’s renewable energy supply chain. For example, there are an estimated 135 companies in Wisconsin participating in the solar market, including Helios, Ingeteam, and Caleffi, three Milwaukee-based manufacturers.

Also, please consider attending the Eau Claire County Board meeting on Tuesday, June 18 at 7:00PM in the County Boardroom, 1st Floor Courthouse, Room 1277, 721 Oxford Ave., Eau Claire, WI. Members of the public may speak at the very beginning of the meeting for up to 5 minutes each.

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