Duke Energy can’t stop the sun

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club

This could be a game-changer.

Click here to support the ability for all North Carolinians to find affordable solar solutions!

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Earlier this month, state Representative John Szoka (R-Cumberland) introduced HB 245: the Energy Freedom Act. This bill would legalize third-party energy sales in North Carolina, which would allow energy users to buy their electricity directly from renewable energy companies.

But just as soon as this solar access bill was introduced, Duke Energy and its team of lobbyists took to the NC legislature with a mission to stop it dead in its tracks.

Click here to support the Energy Freedom Act to make sure Duke Energy doesn’t stand in the way of North Carolinians having the opportunity to meet their energy needs with solar power!

The Energy Freedom Act, if passed, will allow companies to offer business and residential customers long-term contracts for affordable solar energy without the up-front costs of having to purchase solar panels. The company selling the electricity would own and maintain the panels and sell affordable clean energy to customers. This is a common-sense policy that will save North Carolinians money and protect public health.

Click here to watch our video about how third party sales would benefit North Carolinians.

Only four states in the nation don’t allow business and residents this option–and we are one of them.  Rep. Szoka’s bill would give North Carolinians the freedom of energy choice that most other Americans already enjoy.

The Energy Freedom Act will reduce the need for expensive, polluting traditional power plants and infrastructure, and will help North Carolinians reduce their energy bills by allowing them to choose affordable and cleaner options like solar. Third-party sales can also provide much-needed flexibility to public institutions and the military to reduce their energy costs by allowing them to choose cheaper and more reliable energy sources.

Your voice is critical! Tell your representative to support HB 245 and stand up for consumer choice for clean energy solutions!

Thanks for all that you do.

NC Clean Power Plan – Jan 12 Sierra Club Webinar

Fossil Fuel CPP

We know that Governor Pat, the Republican lead NC legislature and DENR will do everything possible to delay and weaken a Clean Power Plan for North Carolina.  We also know that the Koch Brothers, ALEC, the John Locke Foundation, Duke Energy, and the oil and gas industry will be actively lobbying our Governor and elected officials to oppose a strong Clean Power Plan. We need all hands on deck to be a part of a North Carolina Clean Clean Power plan fight. And you can’t be an effective advocate and activist if you don’t know the facts. That’s why you need to join us Monday, January 12th, from  5:00 til 6:00 for a Sierra Club Clean Power Plan webinar!

Clean Power Plan 101 Webinar

Monday, January 12th

5:00pm-6:00pm

Click here to register – Clean Power Plan NC 101 Registration

America’s Solar Boom, in Charts

Here are some great numbers and news about the solar growth in the U.S.! Spread the word that we need to grow solar in N.C. one rooftop at a time to protect our water, air, land and our health!

Here Comes the Sun: America’s Solar Boom, in Charts
It’s been a bit player, but solar power is about to shine.

Tim McDonnell
Nov. 7, 2014

Last week, an energy analyst at Deutsche Bank came to a startling conclusion: By 2016, solar power will be as cheap or cheaper than electricity from the conventional grid in every state except three. That’s without any changes to existing policy. In other words, we’re only a few years away from the point where, in most of the United States, there will be no economic reason not to go solar. If you care about slowing climate change or just moving toward cleaner energy, that is a huge deal.

And solar energy is already going gangbusters. In the past decade, the amount of solar power produced in the United States has leaped 139,000 percent. A number of factors are behind the boom: Cheaper panels and a raft of local and state incentives, plus a federal tax credit that shaves 30 percent off the cost of upgrading.

Still, solar is a bit player, providing less than half of 1 percent of the energy produced in the United States. But its potential is massive—it could power the entire country 100 times over.

So what’s the holdup? A few obstacles: pushback from old-energy diehards, competition with other efficient energy sources, and the challenges of power storage and transmission. But with solar in the Southwest already at “grid parity”—meaning it costs the same or less as electricity from conventional sources—Wall Street is starting to see solar as a sound bet. As a recent Citigroup investment report put it, “Our viewpoint is that solar is here to stay.”

Some numbers that tell the story:

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installation graph

 

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countries graph
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Sources

Solar growth: Solar Energy Industries Association

New solar installations: SEIA

Sunlight: Sandia National Lab, Energy Information Administration/National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Electricity generating capacity: SEIA

Carbon savings, electricity demand: SEIA, EIA/NREL

Installed PV capacity: International Energy Agency

Solar jobs: The Solar Foundation, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Solar panels on a typical house: NREL

Panel cost, VC funding: Greenpeace; Mercom Capital Group (2013 & 2014)

 

Image credits: Shutterstock (Earth, USA); Maurizio Fusillo/Noun Project (solar panel); Okan Benn/Noun Project (car); Q. Li/Noun Project (chart); Sergey Krivoy/Noun Project (coal trolley); Marcio Duarte/Noun Project (worker); Alex Berkowitz/Noun Project (cash)  

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/11/solar-energy-power-boom-charts

Make Duke Energy Pay

Isn’t it time to make Duke Energy pay? Would you like to to make Duke pay to help you save money, energy and protect our air, water and health? You betcha’!!!

Duke Energy is required by law to offer Energy Efficiency (EE) programs to rate payers. Image if everyone took advantage of these offers and cut our energy use by qt least 20%! We could avoid paying for expensive new power plants, decrease our Mountain Top Removal coal use, save tons of water, and clean up our air and water. 

I just place my order for 3 types of bulbs:

2 x Philips PAR20 Flood – Retail $22.95, Store price $17.95, Duke incentive $7.00 = My cost $10.95

10 x TCP G25 Globe – Retail $5.50, Store price $3.00, Duke incentive $1.70 = My cost $1.30

15X CREE LED A Lamp 9.5W – Retail $9.97, Store price $9.87, Duke incentive $7.00 = My cost $2.97

Total retail cost $250.45, My cost $79.45 (plus zero tax and free shipping!)

And I plan to make Duke Energy pay more!

Here are some of the Energy Efficiency programs that Duke Energy is offering (click on images for more information).

Home Energy House Call

Make Duke pay for a $180 home energy assessment – check your home for air leaks, examine your insulation levels, check your appliances and more. Plus you’ll get a free energy efficiency starter kit (free CFLs, showerhead and more), valued at $30, to help you start saving right away.

Duke EE House Call

LED Lightbulbs

Make Duke pay you to replace even your CFLs with LEDs – see the chart below about why this is a good idea and how to select your bulbs.

Duke EE Lightbulbs

Duke EE LED bulbs

LED vs CFL vs Incandescent Bulbs

LED vs CFL vs Incandescent Bulbs

Appliance Recycling

Make Duke pay you $50 to pick up and recycle your outdated, energy hog old frig!

Duke EE Appliance Recycling

 Smart $aver

The  home improvement rebate programs help you make your home more comfortable. You can improve the air quality in your home, fix uneven temperature spots and make sure your equipment is running efficiently. These changes help you reduce your energy usage and save on your monthly bill!

Make Duke Energy pay you to save energy, save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

Duke EE Smart Saver

Duke EE Smart Saver List

Save Energy and Money Programs and Information

Get a free customized report that will show you how your home uses energy — and other specific recommendations to reduce your energy use. Get answers to your energy questions and learn how to make simple low cost changes that result in big savings.

Duke EE Save Energy and Money

If you are a formewr Progress Energy customers there are similar but sightly different programs. Check the Duke Energy website for details.

Make Polluters Pay for Their Toxic Waste!

Take Action: Polluters Must Pay for Superfund Sites Take Action: Polluters Must Pay for Superfund SitesCongress enacted the Superfund toxic waste cleanup program in 1980, following the discovery of toxic waste seeping into homes and harming health in Love Canal, New York. Even though the Superfund program has been responsible for the cleanup of hundreds of toxic waste sites, more than a thousand sites continue to threaten health and water.

When the polluter pays fees stopped in 1995, the Trust Fund quickly dried up — leaving taxpayers to pay the full cost of cleaning up abandoned Superfund sites.

Take Action
Contact your senators today and tell them to support the Superfund Polluter Pays Restoration Act of 2014 (S 2679) to make polluters pay for their toxic waste!


Take Action: No More Coal Ash Disasters Take Action: No More Coal Ash Disasters

Coal ash, a byproduct of burning coal for electricity, is one of the largest waste streams in the country, with nearly 140 million tons produced each year. This toxic waste, which contains dangerous chemicals like arsenic, mercury, chromium, selenium, lead, and boron, is stored in more than 400 landfills and over 1,000 wet impoundments across the country. Yet currently no federal safeguards exist to protect communities and waterways from coal ash pollution.

Take Action
Tell your state legislators to support the EPA on finalizing strong coal ash safeguards by the end of this year.

The Dan River coal ash spill. Photo by Catawba Riverkeeper Sam Perkins.


Sign Up: Our Wild America Sign Up: Our Wild America

Sign up for our monthly Our Wild America newsletter to get the inside scoop about the Sierra Club’s work to explore, enjoy, and protect America’s wild legacy.

Stay up-to-date on the challenges facing our public lands and wildlife (especially in the face of climate disruption), follow what the Sierra Club is doing to connect people with nature, and learn what actions you can take to help protect our great outdoors.

Sign up today.


Grassroots Activism: Keep the People's Climate March Momentum Going! Grassroots Activism: Keep the People’s Climate March Momentum Going!

It’s been a week since more than 400,000 people marched in NYC for climate action (and in many other cities across the U.S. and world), but you can still take action!

Take Action
Tell the Environmental Protection Agency you support the Clean Power Plan.

“We Don’t Want Your Pipeline” By Robin and Linda Williams

Opposition to the Duke Energy/Dominion/Piedmont Natural Gas Pipeline is growing…

“We Don’t Want Your Pipeline” By Robin and Linda Williams
Protest Song about proposed Dominion Gas Pipeline coming through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.
Robin and Linda Williams (copyright 2014)
Video from Richard Adams
http://www.augustacountyalliance.org

From Robin and Linda’s newsletter of Oct 5:

We’re involved in some local opposition to a proposed natural gas pipeline that wants to come through our county and run on down to North Carolina. There are some local issues involved: property rights, Eminent Domain, fragile karst geology and water contamination, and the fact that they want to come through the George Washington National Forest. But, after studying the arguments pro and con, and realizing that each side likes to use scare tactics and smoke screens, we’ve come to believe that the central issue is Climate Change and that it’s a real and immediate problem. Everyone has their own opinion on this issue and ours is that Dominion Power is wrong in wanting to spend five and a half billion dollars on carbon based energy when that money, with the future in mind, could be used more wisely on renewable alternatives. So we’re acting locally in opposing this pipeline. And we’ll try and not “screed” you on any more of our missives.

Robin and Linda, thanks for speaking out and singing out on this issue!

Duke Dominion Pipeline Map

October 3, 2014 3:00 pm

Augusta County musicians Robin and Linda Williams have penned a new protest song aimed at the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

The Williams are among the local property owners vocally opposed to the proposal to build a 550-mile natural gas line to North Carolina by way of Virginia.

This week, five Nelson County residents filed suit contesting Dominion Resource’s authority to conduct land surveys on their property for the project.

Dominion  lead company behind the pipeline proposal said it’s been following the law and will continue to do so.

The Williams’ video, “We Don’t Want Your Pipeline,” was promoted online by local grassroots groups springing up to fight the pipeline, including the Friends of Nelson and Free Nelson.

At one point, the clip references 2008’s fiery rupture of a Williams gas company pipeline in Appomattox County. That explosion injured five people and destroyed two homes.

“The sinkholes, explosions and gas line leaks, you hear it on the news almost every week,” Robin Williams sings while strumming a guitar. “Dominion says, don’t worry. But it ain’t wise to be flirting with disaster with their pipeline.”

Dominion, on its project website, said gas pipelines nationwide have a strong safety record.

“Pipelines are the safest way to transport energy,” it wrote in a FAQ link. “Dominion is dedicated to building, monitoring and maintaining the ACP safely.”

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline proposal is still under development and will require regulatory approval. Dominion hopes to start prefiling an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission later this year.
http://www.newsadvance.com/news/local/press-pass/video-musicians-voice-pipeline-opposition-through-song/article_58209d8e-46c0-11e4-90eb-0017a43b2370.html

 

 

Oct 6 – MSNBC “All In: Coal Country” with NC Coal Ash and Duke Energy

On Monday, October 6th at 8:00 PM, Chris Hayes on MSNBC will be doing an hour-long investigative special on the coal industry. It looks like he’ll be devoting a significant amount of time to looking at Duke Energy’s mishandling of coal ash here in North Carolina.
 You can watch the preview by clicking below.
Spread the word about this program on Facebook and with your friends and neighbors!

Coal Country MSNBC Trailer