Whether you are a current or future solar system owner, you probably already know the benefits of solar energy. Not only does it offer potential savings for homeowners, but it also fights the climate crisis. Solar energy prevents greenhouse gas emissions and helps us reduce our carbon footprint. However, it is no longer enough to enjoy the benefits of solar; we must also be a solar advocate for it. Whether we fight for solar incentives for our neighbors, or for the perks for ourselves, being a solar advocate is important if we don’t want special interests to chip away at the benefits of solar power. There are many ways you can help!
Why it’s important to be a solar advocate
You may think you are already doing your part to save the environment by going solar, but that’s just the beginning. Energy providers are constantly lobbying against solar benefits and incentives to increase their own profits. For example, California utilities are currently trying to impose a monthly solar fee on their customers. The fee would decrease solar savings for homeowners and discourage them from going solar. The fewer homeowners that adopt solar energy, the less impact we can have on the climate crisis.
It is important for current solar homeowners to advocate for their neighbors and for themselves. Utilities are trying to impose new fees on future solar owners, and they are also trying to decrease the savings and incentives available to current solar owners. Here are some ways you can be a solar advocate.
Share your experience
If you have already gone solar, congratulations! You are already reaping the benefits and helping the environment. Next, it is your responsibility to share your experience with anyone willing to listen. By encouraging your neighbors, friends, and family to go solar, you have more people on your side. When utilities try to impose a new fee or eliminate a current benefit, you and your neighbors can fight against it. Reach out to local and state policymakers and share your story. Let them know why solar is important to you and how it has already benefited your home and community.
Policymakers are there to serve you, they simply need you to tell them how important solar is to homeowners. Find out who your elected officials are and contact them. Sign petitions against new fees and encourage others to do the same. Protect your right to power from the sun!
Support tax incentives
You may have noticed that over the past few years more and more homeowners have gone solar. It is no coincidence! Not only is solar more affordable and attainable than ever, but there are attractive incentives at the local, state, and federal levels encouraging homeowners to install a new system. One of the most exciting incentives is the federal investment tax credit*, which gives homeowners up to 26% off their federal taxes. Incentives like this are important because they encourage more homeowners to go solar. You can also lobby with your local and state governments for additional incentives and solar programs. If you hear there is a potential incentive being discussed by policymakers, speak up and show your support!
Defend net metering and high export rates
Net metering is not available in every state, but if you do have access to it, this can help boost your energy savings. Net metering allows you to sell excess energy back to the grid at the consumer price. This is usually how many homeowners are able to offset their energy consumption. Some even produce more than they use and get a check from their utility.
Even if you do not have net metering available to you, your utility may offer export rates. Export rates are usually not equivalent to retail price, but they can still help you offset your consumption and increase your energy savings. Net metering and high export rates are great benefits that encourage homeowners to invest in a solar system. It is important to defend these programs so you can protect your solar savings and encourage your neighbors to go solar as well. Remember, if comparable export rates are not offered, you can still save on your energy bill if you install batteries or install a smaller system.
Join an organization
We encourage you to be a solar advocate, but we don’t expect you to do it alone. Joining a solar advocacy group, such as the Solar Rights Alliance or a local organization can help power up your advocacy and amplify your voice. Organizations have extensive information and resources to keep you informed. They will usually be the first to know about new issues and policies that affect solar. Advocacy organizations will organize events and help manage petition signatures. As a bonus, you may find other like-minded people that also care about solar and the environment.
Freedom Forever is a solar advocate
Freedom Forever believes that solar should be affordable and accessible to as many people as possible. We advocate for progressive solar policies that benefit the environment and homeowners. We want to help you go solar and enjoy the benefits. Rest assured that Freedom Forever will always advocate to protect your right to sunshine!
*You should contact a qualified tax expert and consult with them. Neither Freedom Forever’s family of independent authorized dealers nor Freedom Forever itself can give you tax advice. A qualified tax professional will understand your situation and be able to give you the most relevant advice.