Last Chance to Save Solar in WA!
UPDATE (3/4): URGENT ACTION NEEDED, NOW MORE THAN EVER
HB 2346 now resides in the Senate Ways & Means Committee (as E2SHB 2346), where it sits idle before a possible hearing on the Senate floor.
In addition to containing reduced incentive rates from the original bill, Senator Doug Ericksen (District 42, Bellingham / Ferndale), has inserted a "poison pill" striker amendment that would kill the solar incentive program if the Dept. of Ecology were ever to take action on carbon emissions, now or in the future.
This amendment has the solar industry, existing solar customers, and legislators on both sides of the aisle concerned that this bi-partisan bill may die an unfair and untimely death. Essentially, Senator Ericksen is holding solar hostage over an unrelated, controversial political issue.
We know you've already spoken up once or twice this session, but we need you to contact your legislators one more time urging them to pass a clean version of HB 2346 and restore the original incentive rates. A sample letter has already been drafted, which you can modify however you would like. Thank you once again for your continued support.
In addition to this completing this letter campaign, will you please call your Senator, right now, to ask her/him to take action immediately? You may call via the state legislative hotline at 800-562-6000. Operators will ask you for your address, what bill # you’re calling about (HB 2346), and what your comment is (pass a clean solar bill at original rates). It only takes 1 or 2 minutes and is very easy.
EXACT STRIKER LANGAUGE:
"This section expires immediately if the department of ecology: (a) Adopts, adopts with revisions, or enforces the proposed chapter 173-442 WAC (clean air rule) or amendments to chapter 173-441AC (reporting of emissions of greenhouse gases), published in the Washington state register, WSR 16-02-101; or (b) adopts or enforces a rule that establishes a statewide program to set a limit, cap, or emissions standard designed to control the amount of greenhouse gas emissions occurring during a period of time, including a rule establishing individualized greenhouse gas emissions reduction pathways for covered parties. For the purposes of this subsection, "greenhouse gas" has the same meaning as defined in RCW 70.235.010. The department of ecology must provide notice of the expiration date Code Rev/AR:akl 1 S-4869.5/16 5th draft 1 of this section to affected parties, the chief clerk of the house of 2 representatives, the secretary of the senate, the office of the code 3 reviser, and others as deemed appropriate by the department of ecology."
Solar installations in Washington have been booming thanks to a successful incentive program. This program, however, is nearing the end of its useful life. Without reasonable updates its effectiveness will be significantly reduced, resulting in fewer solar jobs and unexpected rate reductions for existing solar customers.
House Bill 2346 is a bipartisan bill designed to promote a sustainable, local renewable energy industry by modifying the current renewable energy incentive program. If passed, it will renew and reform support for solar at a lower cost, ensuring that we continue to lead the effort to increase renewable energy at a time when it is most needed.
HB 2346, with the rates recommended in the original proposal, and without Senator Ericksen's climate amendment, provides the stability that consumers, installers and manufacturers need in order deploy solar and increase solar jobs across the state. It also simplifies the program, offering 10 years of incentive payments at fixed rate that is significantly lower than current incentive rates. Finally, HB 2346 provides protection for existing solar customers by eliminating the potential for unexpected rate dilutions.
Contact your legislators (both in the House and Senate) to let them know that reforming the solar incentive program will create additional solar jobs, support renewable energy choices for consumers and businesses, and reduce the per unit cost of solar energy to state taxpayers.
Enter your information to send a message directly to your state representatives. No need to look them up--your address and zip code will determine that for you! The letter will be sent to your Senator and both of your representatives in the House!
Thank you for your support.
Solar Installers of Washington