Solarize Salisbury-Rowan Kickoff – Oct 2

Here’s an announcement about another Solarize program! This movement is  sweeping across North Carolina. All the best on this launch!!

Dear Friends,

I want to personally invite you to the launch of our new and exciting program called “Solarize Salisbury-Rowan” held in partnership with SmartPower. Please join us to learn how this campaign can help our community go solar.

Solarize Salisbury-Rowan Kick-Off 
Lee Street Theatre 
329 N. Lee Street, Salisbury 
Thursday, October 2 
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

We are excited to have Brian F. Keane, President of SmartPower and author of Green Is Good: Save Money, Make Money, and Help Your Community Profit from Clean Energy to start the brief program portion of the event at 6:00 pm. Lane Wallace, Community Outreach Manager for Solarize Salisbury-Rowan, and I will then give a short highlight of the 12-week Solarize campaign that will make it easy for homeowners and businesses to go solar and to learn about the significant financial savings.

At the event, we’ll be able to tell you if your home is a good candidate for solar. We have reached a point now where it is not how much it will cost if you do install solar, but instead how much you will lose if you don’t.
Bring a friend or two and come enjoy our celebration and opportunity to network, to learn and simply have a good time!  Although the campaign is named Solarize Salisbury-Rowan, anyone from this region is invited to the event and to participate.

Life Size, a talented band with its root in the music department at Catawba College, will provide some great music. A cash bar and some light hors d’oeuvres will be available.

Please register for this event at:  CenterForTheEnvironment.
Hope to see you there!
John E. Wear, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Center for the Environment at Catawba College
2300 West Innes Street
Salisbury, North Carolina 28144
centerfortheenvironment.org
704-637-4738

2nd Charlotte Bus to New York City – Limited Seats, Sign Up Today!

I’m pleased to announce that we have secured funding for a second bus from Charlotte to New York City for the Sept 21 People’s Climate March!!!!! This brings the number of confirmed PCM North Carolina buses to 7!

There are a limited numbers of seats and we expect the bus to fill up fast. Reserve your seat at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/charlotte-bus-to-nyc-peoples-climate-march-2nd-bus-tickets-12941459253.

 

Charlotte to New York City for the People’s Climate March – 2nd Bus

Tentative Timetable
Exact times and locations are being finalized and will be announced shortly.

Saturday, Sept 20 – Location TBD. Sign in at 7:30 PM. Bus pulls out at 8:00 PM sharp!

Sunday, Sept 21 – Stop along New Jersey Turnpike for breakfast. Drop off in NYC at 9:00 AM.
Participate in March (11:30 – 3:30, approximate times). Pick up in same location (Time TBD).

Monday, Sept 22 – Arrive Charlotte approximately 4:00 AM (same location)

Cost (Round trip)
General ticket – $25 + $2.37 Eventbrite fee

Register Today – Only 55 total seats available!
Please register by Monday, Sept 8th, to assure your seat!

Yes!, I want to Get On The Bus

For more information contact: Bill Gupton at wmgupton@aol.com

2nd Charlotte Bus Flyer2nd Bus PCM Charlotte to NYC

Calling All Charlotte Clergy, Lay Leaders, and Congregants – Speak Out on Climate Change Sept 9th

“We have a moral obligation to future generations to leave our land, water and wildlife better than we found it.”

~ Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior

from Dealing with Climate Change: A Moral Obligation

We need your voice on September 9th at Myers Park Baptist Church for a Citizen’s Climate Hearing on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan is a historic measure calling for strong carbon pollution reductions to combat the worst effects of climate disruption. Now in the public comment period, the EPA needs to hear from concerned citizens that want strong protections from carbon pollution. This is a critical moment for North Carolinians to make sure our voice is heard. Citizens from across NC will gather at Myers Park Baptist Church to give oral testimony, which will be recorded and submitted as official comments to the EPA. Join us as we call on the EPA to take swift and strong action on climate for North Carolina.

What can you do?

As a Charlotte clergy – Plan to attend and speak! Ask other clergy to join you. Post the flyer and/or an announcement on your website and on your calendar. Include an announcement in your e-updates. Mention the hearing at your Sabbath service this coming weekend and encourage your congregants to join you. Spread the word!

As a Lay Leader – Plan to attend and speak! Ask other lay leaders to join you. Make sure that there are hearing announcements on your website, calendar, etc.  Spread the word through your networks of friends and on social media.

As a Charlotte Congregant – Plan to attend and speak! Ask other congregants to join you.  Spread the word through your networks of friends and on social media. Commit to bringing 3 friends with you.

Charlotte Interfaith Call for Action on Climate Change

Free Solar Tours Preceding the Hearing – 5:00 and 5:30 PM

Citizen’s Climate Hearing
September 9th
Myers Park Baptist Church
Heaton Hall
1900 Queens Rd, Charlotte, NC 28207
6:00-8:00 PM

 
Format
• Please limit oral comments to 3 minutes (typically 400 – 450 words)
• Please bring a copy of prepared comments for the court reporter (optional)
• Written comments may be of any length and submitted without public speaking

For more information, contact Renee Reese sierraclub.centpiedpublicity@gmail.com.

See also our Facebook Charlotte Citizens’ Climate Hearinghttps://www.facebook.com/events/845313815488006/

Interfaith Citizens Hearing 3Charlotte Interfaith Call for Action on Climate Change

Why Join the People’s Climate March and What to Bring/Not Bring

Reserve your seat on the Charlotte Bus to NYC People’s Climate March today! Can’t decide if you should make the trip? Watch and listen to Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune on why you need to be there!

Already decided to attend? Great! Reserve your seat on the Charlotte Bus to NYC People’s Climate March  and then check out what to bring and what not to bring…

What to Bring to the March

Most importantly, bring everyone you know! Help make this the largest call for climate justice imaginable!

Bring things that help communicate the message:
– Make your own signs and banners and t-shirts and flags – be creative
– Carry signs or banners that let people know where you are from – what organization, what city or state, what country
– Remember: only cardboard tubing or string can be used to carry signs, banners, flags, etc.
– Music that does not need amplification is encouraged

Items to bring that will make your day more comfortable:
– Bring some light food and drinks…it will be a long day
– Wear comfortable shoes
– Check the weather predictions a day or two before you come and dress appropriately
– If it’s going to be a sunny day, bring sun-screen

What NOT to Bring to the March

- Do not bring any amplified sound systems.
– Do not bring signs, banners or flags that are carried on wooden sticks or metal rods, only cardboard tubing or string is allowed.
– Do not weigh yourself down with unnecessary clothing or other items that you will have to carry all day long…travel lightly.

 

NC Sierra Club Footnotes Online – August 2014

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club

Friends,

Last night, the state legislature adjourned and left Raleigh until the 2015 session begins in January. We will have a full review of what happened on environmental issues during the session available in next month’s edition of Footnotes.

For this edition, the spotlight is on the upcoming 50th anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act, as well information about the public hearings happening right now as part of the public review of the proposed fracking rules.  As always, thanks for all that you do and we hope to see you at our Wilderness Celebration next month at Morrow Mountain State Park!

Cheers,

You staff at the NC Sierra Club


Coal Ash Legislation Passes

The legislature gave final approval yesterday to the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014, a complex measure that takes steps forward in regulating coal ash as other wastes but also undermines a court ruling that would have required immediate cleanup of coal ash.

It’s time for the EPA to finish what North Carolina started to ensure full protection by adopting strong national standards for coal ash to protect every community in the United States. EPA action is needed more than ever to set a national standard and to stop the piecemeal approach to addressing coal ash waste and contamination across the US.

Click here to learn more about the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014 and what it means for North Carolina.

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Public Comments Being Accepted Now on Proposed Fracking Rules

Public hearings on the state’s proposed fracking rules started yesterday in Raleigh. And between 400 and 500 people showed up! There are three more public hearings around the state in coming days where you can give your input on ways to strengthen the proposed rules.

Click here for more information including location details and ideas on things to include in your comments!

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Hundreds of people at the Raleigh hearing on Wednesday in Raleigh give a show of hands for those wo think the proposed fracking rules are not adequate.


Wilderness Celebration in the Heart of Carolina

On September 26-27, the NC Sierra Club is hosting a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.  Held at Morrow Mountain State Park, this celebration is centrally located to all North Carolinians wishing to pay respect to past efforts to protect wilderness, as well as to build support to carry on the proud legacy of protecting our wild areas!

Activities include canoeing, hiking, service, birding, fishing, stargazing and a special guided tour of the Kron restoration!

Click here for more event details or to reserve your spot today!

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Clean Energy for Raleigh

The Capital Group of the NC Sierra will soon be launching its Clean Energy for Raleigh campaign.  This exciting project aims to make it easy and affordable for homeowners, businesses, and tax-exempt entities in Raleigh, NC, to go solar and invest in energy efficiency.

The program was recently featured in a Triangle Business Journal article, in which, Chelsea Barnes of the Capital Group makes a very compelling case for going solar.  Click here to read the article.

Click here to learn more about this program and to find out how you can enroll!

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Wilderness Spotlight: Ellicott Rock

Ellicott Rock is unique among wilderness areas in that it is shared among three states: North Carolina (3,394 acres), Georgia (2,021 acres) and South Carolina (2,859 acres).  The area was designated as wilderness in 1975.  It received its name for the “N G” chiseled in a rock by surveyor Andrew Ellicott in 1811 indicating the point of beginning of the dividing line between North Carolina and Georgia.

Click here to learn more about this wilderness area on the Our Wild NC website!

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Upcoming Events and Outings

Fracking Public Hearings (See above for more information)

August 22, 2014 - Wicker Civic Center, Sanford, NC from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.

August 25, 2014 - Rockingham County High School, Reidsville, NC from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.

September 12, 2014 - Bardo Fine & Performing Arts Center- WCU, Cullowhee, NC from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.

 

Featured Wilderness Outings

There are two featured wilderness outings coming up!  If all of this talk about celebrating wilderness has you itching to get outside, we have two great opportunities for you!

There’s an overnight backpack and camping outing to Cold Mountain & Shining Rock Wilderness on September 5-7 and a wilderness day hike and car camping in Linville Gorge  on September 6-7.

Click here for details and to see all of our upcoming wilderness events!

 

August 24 - 1:00 p.m. – Kayak With Candidates – Neuse River

The Croatan Sierra club is hosting this short paddle up the Neuse River. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early where Glenburnie Road meets the Neuse River with their own canoe or kayak, paddle, and personal flotation device.  The group will paddle past the marsh islands and up the short cypress-lined creeks on both sides of the river there will be time to discuss water quality issues, especially the impact of the Lee Coal Plant upstream in Goldsboro, which has been leaking toxic chemicals for decades.  Sierra Club lobbyist Cassie Gavin, the Lower Neuse Riverkeeper Travis Graves and endorsed General Assembly candidates George Graham, Carr Ipock, and Whit Whitley will be there to answer your questions and concerns about the environment.  You must sign a waiver to participate in this outing.  Bring your own water supply and environmental questions.

For more information and to register, contact Robert Scull at scull1453@gmail.com.

 

August 30 - 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Alpaca Meet & Greet – Chatham County

Come visit an alpaca farm set in the rolling hills of southwest Chatham County and learn about the origin and history of alpacas. Find out why they are called the green livestock and see where your alpaca sweater comes from.The group will visit the animals in their barn as they talk about their basic care and the gentle impact they have on the environment.  Attendees should bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the porch in a relaxed country setting after the tour.

Closed-toed, sturdy shoes are required. Hat and sun protection are advisable. Bring your camera. No pets please. Tour will be held rain or shine. Participation is by advance registration only and is limited to 10 people. Exact meeting location will be provided when registration is confirmed.

To register, please contact Rosmarie: rbrosenbloom@gmail.com

 

September 3, 10, 17, & 24 - 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Walking Wednesdays – Durham

Join Sierrans for a fast-paced, mid-week walk on the Al Beuhler Trail. The trail circles the perimeter of the Washington-Duke Golf Course, offering shade, moderate hills, and natural scenery. The leader will set the pace to complete the 3-mile course in 1-hour although you are welcome to go your own pace and do as many laps as you would like. Standard Sierra Club waiver applies.

Click here for more information.

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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.

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Charlotte Powers Up With Solarize Charlotte!

Solarize Charlotte Single

Solar power for the masses reaches Charlotte

By Bruce Henderson
Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014

MORE INFORMATION: Solarize Charlotte

A three-month campaign to broaden the appeal of rooftop solar systems has declared success in its aim of making them cheaper and simpler for Charlotte-area homeowners.

Solarize Charlotte launched in the hometown of the nation’s largest electric utility, Duke Energy, in April. The volunteer-run program offered discounts on installations and connected homeowners to tax savings and low-interest loans.

“One of the issues we all recognized was that even as solar dropped in price, people saw barriers,” said project assistant Michael Zytkow. “So the goal is to help with everything involved.”

About 600 people expressed interest in the program, of which 186 solicited proposals for systems. Twenty-four homeowners signed installation contracts, six made verbal agreements and 10 contracts are pending. Another 89 projects are still in the consultation stages.

North Carolina ranks fourth-largest in the nation for its solar capacity, says the Solar Energy Industries Association, but that’s mostly because of commercial-scale installations.

Duke Energy says about 1,700 North Carolina customers, most of them affluent, own rooftop solar systems. Solarize Charlotte’s focus included lower-income and non-white homeowners.

Initiative moved east

“My philosophy is that solar should be for everyone,” said Zytkow, whose full-time job is as a Greenpeace field organizer. “My background of activism is in meeting people where they are.”

Solarize Charlotte was an outgrowth of an initiative born in Portland, Ore., five years ago and adopted by dozens of communities under Energy Department-funded guidelines.

A coalition of more than 20 nonprofit advocacy groups and churches brought it to North Carolina. Similar programs have launched in Asheville, Carrboro and Durham.

The Charlotte campaign worked with a solar company, the RED Group, that offered bulk discounts on installations. State and federal tax credits pare the cost, and the program led homeowners to low-interest loans.

Cut cost of systems

All told, organizers say, those incentives could take up to 75 percent off the retail price of a solar system. Typical Solarize systems, including tax credits, cost about $4,500 to $8,000.

Solar panel prices have dropped sharply in recent years, and the arrays are now thinner and more aesthetically pleasing. The expiration of North Carolina’s 35 percent tax credit at the end of 2015 has also stimulated interest.

Still, “it takes a lot of consumer education to get people to the point where they’re ready to go solar,” said Cynthia Redwine, a partner in RED Group, a 2-year-old company formed by former Peace Corps volunteers.

Some potential customers, for instance, believe that net metering – in which utilities give homeowners with solar systems credit for the energy they generate – means they have to live off the grid, she said.

Starting in late April, Solarize volunteers went door-to-door, bought radio ads, staffed festival booths and made presentations to homeowners associations, clubs and churches.

Savings biggest factor

The campaigners pitched the environmental and economic aspects of solar power, but found most people responded to rising electricity rates.

“At the end of the day, that’s what resonates with people – their power bills,” Zytkow said. “One of the first things you hear out there is the idea of these (utility) monopolies. They’re captive customers, and they don’t have any options. A lot of it is rallying around the concept of choice.”

Charlotte homeowner Terry Taylor-Allen, a communications consultant on energy, environment and sustainability, heard about Solarize at a conference and quickly signed up.

Taylor-Allen and her husband, Mark Allen, had considered solar for years but hesitated at trying to sort through its technological aspects and financial viability.

“The very nice thing about Solarize Charlotte is that they sort of anticipate those wrap-around needs and solved those problems,” she said. “From that perspective, it’s a really, really good program. It facilitates a lot of decision- making.”

Their rooftop panels started generating electricity July 14.

Solarize Charlotte finishes as most successful residential solar program in NC

Solarize Charlotte Single

Solarize Charlotte finishes as most successful residential solar program in NC

August 5, 2104

Charlotte, NC—Thursday, July 31st marked the conclusion of Solarize Charlotte, the largest grassroots residential solar initiative in the state. In just three months, over 600 homeowners signed up for free solar assessments; 16 signed contracts and many more are expected to sign in the coming weeks. Demand for the program reflects not only the increasing affordability of solar, but also concerns about coal ash and Duke Energy’s rising rates.

Solarize is a Department of Energy-endorsed program that has taken off in dozens of cities across the country–including Durham, Carrboro, and Asheville–by minimizing the cost and hassle of going solar. By comparison, Solarize Durham finished with 380 assessments, Carrboro with 300 and Asheville with 3681. Through the concerted effort of many volunteers and a coalition of 24 non-profit organizations, Solarize Charlotte enrolled nearly double the homeowners of any other program in North Carolina for assessments.

Solarize Charlotte allowed any homeowner who wanted to reduce both their energy bills and carbon footprint to install panels on their roof at up to 75% off market value. The program essentially functioned as a bulk purchase agreement between a certified installer and a group of homeowners to leverage aggregated demand, lowering the cost of labor and materials. “These panels will reduce our energy bills considerably” said Charlotte homeowner, Joselle Anthony. “It’s pretty cool to see our meter running backwards. It means that we are getting credited for the extra energy our panels produce.”

This grassroots effort to increase access to residential solar succeeded, in part because of community concerns about energy issues and neighbors who helped spread the word.  “We live right next to Mountain Island Lake and the Riverbend coal ash dumps, which is a huge public health hazard,” said cancer survivor and teacher, Sara Behnke. “I’m excited about the opportunity to get panels on our roof because the best way to deal with coal ash is to not produce it in the first place.”

While the sign-up period has officially ended,  homeowners who enrolled in the program still have 30 days from the receipt of their proposal to sign contracts with Renewable Energy Design (RED) Group, the solar installer that was selected by a competitive bidding process–which means we will soon be seeing lots of new installations. “Solar is a great way to not only reduce your monthly electric bills, but do your part to keep our air and water clean,” said Cynthia Redwine, CEO of RED Group. “We have been delighted to talk to so many people who want solar and to design systems that let people tap into the enormous solar potential that NC has to offer.”

Solarize Charlotte is one of several solar programs that are popping up across the state to address demand for cleaner and cheaper energy options, so stay tuned for more sunny results on the horizon