As climate change becomes more pervasive in the national political conversation, federal politicians are seeking to find tangible paths towards a renewable energy policy that addresses climate issues while also driving a healthy economy -- both issues of importance to politicians of all backgrounds. To do their part in bringing solar into this critical conversation, Mary Jane Gilliland and Caroline Gotwals, two Account Managers in our Boston office, traveled to Washington, DC on March 14 to spend the day lobbying with the Solar Energies Industries Association (SEIA) on behalf of the Northeast region. Split into groups, they worked in collaboration with SEIA and other solar industry stakeholders to represent CivicSolar’s voice in the industry as an advocate for solar policy that empowers our installer partners to work in healthy, growing solar markets across the country.
Throughout the day, the groups met with Senators, Representatives, and staffers from the Northeast Region. As the only distributor represented that day, CivicSolar was proud to advocate for federal solar policy from the key vantage point of our strong relationships with installers in the residential and commercial markets across the Northeast region and beyond.
As part of the day’s mission, the teams focused on five key legislative asks:
Pass the Energy Storage ITC Legislation
Improve and modernize our nation’s grid
Invest in renewable energy workforce training
Advocate for policies that support solar development and deployment
One exciting takeaway from the day’s events is that politicians in the Northeast states understand that solar plus storage is the future of a renewable grid. Many senators and staffers directly referenced the duck curve and are excited to support solar plus storage projects, understanding the importance of storage in a clean, robust, and secure grip. With this enthusiasm for storage comes support for the ITC Solar plus Storage bill. In addition to the storage discussions, Mary Jane and Caroline participated in many conversations relating to the painstaking permitting process for installers. We asked politicians to streamline and simplify the process in order to minimize costs and delays fraught by a cumbersome and fractured permitting landscape.
Above all, CivicSolar’s most important message following this event is that our federal officials want to hear from you, our valuable installer partners. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are passionate about supporting small business, but they need to know how they can specifically support the solar industry by understanding key pain points in the process of growing your business. While our Account Managers were excited to represent our large and growing network of installers, information is even better shared straight from the source. CivicSolar’s voice is ultimately just one in a nation where solar employs a quarter of a million people, and our asks are best amplified when they are echoed by the hard-working installers we seek to represent. We encourage you to contact your representative and senators to share your experience and your desire to continue deploying clean energy! Find out who your representative in the house is here, and stay up-to-date on SEIA advocacy activities by connecting with them here.