Energy Alabama advocates for smart state and local energy policy that unlocks the potential for sustainable energy in Alabama.
But what does this mean?
It means we’re working to pass legislation favorable to sustainable energy, remove obstacles that block the growth of sustainable energy, and educate regular Alabamians on how to make their voices heard to their elected officials.
We focus on policies that build Alabama up, step by step, to achieve a future of sustainable energy for all. No matter where in Alabama you live.
We can’t even say, “Thank goodness for Mississippi.” Alabama is the worst state in America for the growth of sustainable energy to date. Now is the time to take action!
What we are doing now:
Energy Alabama is currently challenging both major utilities in the state. We are:
1. Suing TVA for their unlawful adoption of a new fixed fee, called a “Grid Access Charge”, to all customers.
2. Intervening and fighting Alabama Power’s solar tax, the highest such fee in the country.
3. Taking action against Alabama Power’s proposal to build/buy 2 GW (~200,000 homes worth!) of new natural gas in favor of energy efficiency, demand response, renewable energy, and battery storage.
Local Policy is aimed at city council members, county commissioners, mayors and municipal leaders. To date, the majority of Energy Alabama’s local advocacy has focused on Huntsville/Madison County in North Alabama. We are actively seeking to expand our efforts into other areas across Alabama.
Even in the absence of state action, local governments can and should affect positive change. Energy Alabama’s local policy recognizes and appreciates the role of local officials for their leadership in sustainable energy.
We advocate for policies at the local level that would require:
• Openness and transparency in setting utility rates
• Involvement in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge
• Disclosure of commercial building energy performance
• Requiring minimum energy performance on rental housing
• Opportunities for electric transportation
Download our Local Policy Agenda (PDF download)
State policy is aimed at members of the Alabama legislature and leaders of Alabama’s executive agencies. Energy Alabama believes that Alabama can and should lead the Southeast in the transition to sustainable energy, capturing the economic, social, and environmental benefits for all people.
We advocate for state-level policies that would:
• Allow third-party ownership of renewable energy
• Develop a comprehensive state energy policy
• Open and transparent long-range planning, also called Integrated Resource Planning (IRP)
• Require fair market pricing for solar
Download our Alabama Policy Agenda (PDF download)
What we’ve accomplished so far
Energy Alabama’s work has begun the process of Alabama’s transition to sustainable energy. While we are under no illusion that the road ahead is tougher, not easier, we have achieved success where few believed possible, including:
- Defeating Huntsville Utilities’ 2016-2017 fixed fee increase, securing a much lower increase in the monthly fixed rate, a higher volumetric (energy) rate on the highest consumption tier, and an increase in energy efficiency investment for low income residents.
- Reducing proposed (2019) electric and hybrid vehicle registration fees and increasing EV infrastructure spending to $4.4 million by the State of Alabama.
- Serving on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) Energy Efficiency Information Exchange (EEIX) which resulted in ~$5 million in TVA pilot program spending to test energy efficiency’s effect on residents’ health.
- Serving on TVA’s Integrated Resource Plan committee as one of two environmental or clean energy advocacy organizations representing the 7-state region.
- Securing an energy efficiency target from the City of Huntsville of 1% of annual sales to support energy efficiency.
- Securing a renewable energy target from the City of Huntsville of 20% renewables by 2020.
- Ensuring a positive Volkswagen Beneficiary Mitigation Plan that maximizes electric vehicle infrastructure and electric public transportation.
- Passing Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), obtaining Alabama Executive Order 22 giving the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) regulatory authority over the implementation of PACE, and pushing ADECA to create a statewide framework for municipalities to opt-in.
a. ADECA is currently under a federal award to create and promulgate PACE regulations in Alabama.
How we choose policies to work on
Energy Alabama places key values at the core of every decision we make, and every issue we engage. They are:
Any change in energy policy must be rooted in improving economic, social, and environmental benefits for all Alabamians. The policy must address, or at the very least, not exacerbate, inequities already present from the status quo.
We intend to use the power of the market to scale the solutions needed while recognizing that the market cannot solve all societal ills and must be properly regulated.
While traditionally only referred to in an environmental sense, sustainability means much more. Truly sustainable policy changes also improve family conditions, public health, and economic development. Any change in energy policy must improve the economic, social, and environmental positions for all Alabamians and the policy itself must be sustainable.