The solar industry in Massachusetts has been growing by leaps and bounds: we were ranked fourth in the nation for solar installed last year -- beating far sunnier states like Texas and Arizona.
But now, solar is in trouble. There's a cap on the number of large solar installations that can use net metering, which allows solar owners to be paid for the electricity they generate. The cap has already been reached in some parts of the state, and it will be reached in others soon -- threatening the continued development of the Massachusetts solar industry.
Utilities like National Grid and Eversource know that solar threatens their old-fashioned business model, and they're fighting to keep the net metering cap in place. These are the same utility companies that broke their contracts with Cape Wind and are now advocating for new fracked gas pipelines. We need to fight back!
We're joining forces with solar advocates across Massachusetts and calling our legislators to eliminate the net metering cap. Join us!
Here's how to participate:
2) Ask your State Senator and Representative to support legislation that would lift the net metering cap. Here's a basic script you can use:
I’m a constituent of yours. I'm calling to urge you to raise the caps on net metering so that the solar industry can continue to provide clean energy and good jobs to Massachusetts. Will you support raising the net metering caps?
Note that the following key legislators particularly need to hear from their constituents on this issue: Representative Thomas Golden, Representative Paul Brodeur, Representative Brian Dempsey, Representative Ted Speliotis, Representative Tackey Chan, Representative Thomas Petrolati and Speaker DeLeo.
At the Mass. Teachers Association (MTA) annual meeting, the divestment campaign was visible to over 1000 MTA teachers, many of whom learned something about climate change and about divestment of the pension fund. An amazing number of teachers and other pension fund contributors signed our petition and postcards and talked with us about divestment.
The Educators for a Democratic Union (EDU), the progressive caucus in the MTA, which includes a number of 350Mass delegate/members, brought a new business item (NBI) forward proposing that the MTA support the state divestment bill and the divestment of the UMass endowment.
The MTA delegates included members who are on the Pension Fund Board who proposed and spoke on behalf of a substitute motion that would require the MTA to propose legislation requiring PRIM to identify their fossil fuel holdings and to study the advisability of divesting. After finding out that our NBI had opposition, EDU volunteers came forward to provide many extra speakers, most of whom got a chance to speak. There was a very lively and civil debate before the motion to substitute a study was adopted.
The op-ed that we wrote in response has just been published by the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
As we wrote:
"We’ve been looking for the eco-terrorists, and so far, we haven’t had much luck. Was Farrell referring to the mothers and grandmothers in Amherst who have been collecting petition signatures against the pipeline? The farmers in Deerfield who hosted a rally in their apple and peach orchard last summer? The Quaker pilgrims who walked the entire pipeline route a few weeks ago, praying as they went? As terrorists go, we’re a pretty sorry bunch."