Mayors want more solar power in their cities and towns. Last week Environment America announced that 180 mayors from across the US had signed a pledge to push for more solar locally. Even in states where politics don’t seem particularly green, governments want more solar power—like in Utah—which recently passed laws to protect solar.
When Environment America announced the effort to get more mayors to push for solar in December 2017, 70 had signed on. Now, just four months later, that number is close to tripling as 180 mayors have now signed on to the letter. The mayors are from across the US and some of the latest mayors to sign on are from Bozeman, MT; Orlando, FL; and Encinitas, CA.
Just like the mayors, it seems state governments across the country are pushing for more solar power as well. In Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signed two bills into law protecting solar consumers in the state. The new laws ensure that solar companies must provide all residential customers with a disclosure statement that summarizes all the key terms in any agreement. The other bill ensures homeowners will get a state tax credit for going solar through the end of 2023. Until the end of 2020 the state will offer a $1,600 tax credit for going solar. Then it will phase out until 2023.
Solar continues to be a large employer in the US as well. Even though the industry saw some jobs loses in 2017 compared to 2016, it continues to grow across the nation. To further illustrate where solar power is employing people The Solar Foundation introduced a new, interactive Solar Jobs Map. The map shows which state have the most solar employees in 2017 and how solar jobs have grown or shrunk in past few years.
Solar also is getting into more communities across the US, including low-income communities. Among the leaders of that effort is GRID Alternatives, which is partnering with companies like Sunrun to offer solar in low-income communities and communities of color in partnership with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Through NAACP’s Solar Equity Initiative Sunrun will finance solar installations on the homes of low-income people. Its employees will volunteer with the organization and the organization will provide solar installation jobs training in low-income neighborhoods.Tweet