You have probably already heard this by now, but June is Solar Energy Month in North Carolina! It’s true, and decreed by the Governor himself. We are doing our best to make sure the whole world knows it, too. But we are not stopping with celebrating. Oh, no. There’s still work to do. Making sure we recognize solar’s contributions to the state is fine, but Sierrans are ambitious. We want to make North Carolina First In Solar!
So that’s the good news. But before we fill you in on that, there are some legislative matters to attend to. Yes, the legislature is still in session. And yes, they still need to hear from you on important issues relating to our air, water and natural places. And they need to hear from you right now!
So please take a few minutes to contact your legislators on three important issues.
Thanks for all that you do,
Your staff at the NC Sierra Club
Legislative Matters That Matter
Call us old fashioned, but we think what’s best for people and our natural resources should be put ahead of things like landfills. And just 6 years ago, the General Assembly felt the same way. That’s why they adopted numerous protections for our communities when it came to rules involved in siting a landfill.
And even though politics are often contentious, there’s a whole new level of trash talk going on in Raleigh these days. But rather than tell you why this bill is bad, we thought we would show you. The picture below covers some of the major points about this bill.
Now we admit that people rarely get excited when they hear someone say “building codes” or “energy efficiency standards.” But over 2,000 Sierrans have already taken action on building codes this year. And with good reason.
According to a report from Appalachian State University, current codes will save North Carolina businesses and residents an average of $67 million per year and save a total of $2 billion over 30 years.
However, H 201 would roll back our commercial building codes to to 2009 standards, which are effectively 2004 standards. In other words, H 201 would reduce minimum energy efficiency requirements in commercial construction by 30%.
Reducing these standards would put us behind Mississippi and South Carolina in efficiency. Yeah. This is real.
Jordan Lake Rules
Remember how the Jordan Lake Rules were under attack last month? Well, they still are.
The rules adopted by the legislature in 2009 to protect the drinking water source for over 300,000 people are in jeopardy. Last month, the NC Senate approved S515, a bill that completely repeals the Jordan rules and sets up a legislative commission to study efforts to treat pollution in the lake itself, rather than direct sources of the pollution. The House Environment committee can hear the bill at any time.
There’s no fancy infographic to go along with this one. But you know it’s important. It’s a lake. It’s people’s drinking water. And it should be protected. Help make it happen!
That word may or may not exist, but it is the closest thing to describe what the Reed brothers of Wilmington are doing for the summer by selling lemonade AND protecting the special coastal home they love.
Mason and Eailin, 9 and 7 years old respectively, are raising money for the Sierra Club and other conservation groups in the area. Get in touch with Chapter Organizer Zachary Keith – email@example.com – on how you can lend your talents on the coast.
If you aren’t worn out from all of that great advocacy work you just read on those three legislative issues (you still have time to if you skipped that part), let’s tell you about our Solar Campaign.
If you are like us, you like lists. Here’s a great one that covers 5 things you should know about solar energy in North Carolina:
1. The Governor declared June Solar Energy Month! And he didn’t have to do it. But since thousands of folks stepped up and asked him to, and since our solar sector is booming, the Governor signed this proclamation!
2. Last year NC ranked 5th in the country in installed solar capacity! Top 10%! And we are on target to be 4th in the country this year. Click here to check out more facts just like that on our First In Solar webpage!
3. More than 45,000 people checked our Facebook images last week. That’s more people than live in Kannapolis. Not that there’s anything wrong with Kannapolis. We hear it’s a great place to raise a family. But if this was a popularity contest, it would have just gotten schooled. Click to here to see those great images we’re talking about.
4. Solar Month is just the first step. If you think this is all said and done at the end of June, you’re going to be disappointed. Now that folks are learning that the solar industry is huge in NC, they want to know what they can do to make us the national leader in solar. The good news for them is we will be working for “Third Party Sales” to be allowed in the state. If you don’t know what that is, you’re not alone. But we have this great video to help explain it. We like to think of it as “Solar Freedom”. (Now taking recommendations on other things to call it.)
5. You are making this happen! It’s true. Without you taking action, talking to your friends and family and being an advocate for moving North Carolina in the right direction, Solar Month wouldn’t have ever happened. So thank you.
And what better way to say thanks than with a really long picture?!
Did you know you can make a monthly gift to the NC Sierra Club? Find out how you can make a sustaining gift by visiting our website, or contacting the Chapter office at 919-833-8467.