New Survey Results: Alabama Voters Want Energy Freedom in a BIG Way

In Alabama, we are all about freedom and market choices, and that’s as true of our energy use as anything else.

Alabama Wants Renewable Energy Choices

Recent results from a survey of 600 likely Alabama voters show that Alabamians want freedom of choice, a competitive marketplace, and the right and opportunity to choose where their energy comes from – and the right to produce their own electricity if they want.

That means more energy providers and more renewable energy sources – which is exactly what Alabamians are asking for: 81% support the development of clean energy like solar and wind. 79% say it’s important to them to have the choice to buy power from a company that uses more renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

An even higher total of 83% agree that increasing our use of renewable energy sources in Alabama, such as wind and solar, will create jobs and encourage economic development throughout the state.

More choices, more renewable energy AND more jobs and a stronger economy? It’s a no brainer!

What About Our Utilities?

Specifically, Alabamians want to see more development from their public utilities. A whopping 90% of respondents think we should accelerate the growth of clean energy so that we can produce more of our own electricity in Alabama and rely less on importing from other states and countries. 87% think the public electric utilities should lead the way in developing renewable energy options for customers. Unfortunately, most Alabama utilities have been doing the exact opposite.

A big motivator for this stance appears to be a desire for Alabama to be independent. 90% support the acceleration of the growth of clean energy so that we can produce more of our own electricity in Alabama and rely less on importing from other states and countries.

The Politics of Renewable Energy in Alabama

Clean energy is good politics, too. Alabama voters across the political spectrum say it is important that a candidate share their opinion on energy issues. And as we’ve seen in these results, a significant majority across party lines support the development of clean energy in the state.

Alabamians know that more renewable energy = more jobs, stronger economy, more choices, and a more competitive energy market.

There is a lot more to these survey results, like what Alabama voters think of the solar tax (spoiler alert: they don’t like it). Read more and see the data for yourself.

 

Header image source: Unsplash

Energy Alabama Signs On to Comments for Department of Energy’s Grid Reliability Study

Energy Alabama, along with many southeastern groups supportive of sustainable energy, signed on to comments prepared by The Southern Environmental Law Center in regards to the Department of Energy’s Grid Reliability Study. A 60-day inquiry is currently being undertaken by the Department of Energy concerning the reliability of our nation’s electricity grid.

We decided to sign on to these comments because Alabamians are starting to reap the benefits of affordable, reliable renewable energy resources that are diversifying our grid and producing clean, sustainable power. This study has the opportunity to significantly strengthen or weaken sustainable energy in South. We wanted to take any opportunity we could to give our voice in support of sustainable energy.

The full comments are shared below.

Download the PDF file .

Energy efficiency

Energy Alabama Comments on Alabama Housing Finance Authority’s Design Quality Standards

Energy Alabama provided comments to the Alabama Housing Finance Authority’s update of their Design Quality Standards in order to encourage more energy efficiency in affordable housing. Much of the affordable housing built in Alabama is designed to meet these minimum standards. Our comments focused on raising the minimum standards in line with today’s market. This includes adding cost effective measures that can be completed with quick returns on investment and accrue the most benefits to end-use residents possible.

Our full comments can be found here: https://alcse.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/2017-Alabama-Housing-Finance-Authority-Plan-Comment-Form.pdf

Department of Energy’s Sunshot Initiative Co-Hosting Local Workshop to Boost Solar in Alabama

Huntsville, AL – The Department of Energy’s Sunshot Initiative, the National Association of Regional Councils and Energy Alabama are hosting “Solar Powering Your Community: Actionable Steps for Adopting Solar in Alabama” on April 28th, 2016. The workshop runs from 10AM to 3PM at the Terry-Hutchens Building in Downtown Huntsville and is open to all local government officials from across North Alabama.

Communities interested in learning more about solar development in Alabama are invited to work with national and local experts. This interactive workshop will provide actionable information on creating a local-level solar program, with a focus on:  

  • The benefits and barriers of solar development in Alabama;
  • Creating solar friendly planning and zoning codes and ordinances;
  • Understanding the regulatory landscape of solar; and
  • Innovative financing options for solar projects.

About Energy Alabama

Energy Alabama is accelerating the transition to clean, sustainable energy throughout Alabama. We accomplish our mission by educating young and old alike, informing smart energy policy, and providing technical assistance to help deploy more sustainable energy. We believe in 100% sustainable energy for all.

About Department of Energy’s Sunshot Initiative

The Solar Outreach Partnership (SolarOPs), the event co-sponsor, is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program designed to increase the use and integration of solar energy in communities across the United States. The SolarOPs program is part of the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, a collaborative national effort to make solar energy systems cost-competitive with other forms of energy before 2020. To drive down the cost of solar electricity, the US Department of Energy is supporting efforts by private companies, academia, and national laboratories, to innovate, educate, and apply best practices in solar energy.

About the National Association of Regional Councils

The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) serves as the national voice for regionalism by advocating for regional cooperation as the most effective way to address a variety of community planning and development opportunities and issues. NARC’s member organizations are composed of multiple local governments that work together to serve American communities – large and small, urban and rural. For additional information, please visit www.NARC.org.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Daniel Tait by phone at 256-303-7773 or by email at dtait@alcse.org.

Does Department of Energy Activity = Clean Energy for Alabama?

The last 30-60 days have seen a flurry of activity coming out of the Department of Energy (DOE). This federal activity could mean huge opportunities for growth in clean energy for Alabama. Here are some of the topics being covered by recent grant announcements or notices of intent.

  • Extreme residential energy efficiency
  • University R&D on energy efficient technology
  • Commercial energy efficiency
  • Distributed energy and storage integration

Of course it isn’t unusual to see such a large amount of federal activity during this time of year but the variety of topics is encouraging! Our mission to transition Huntsville to 100% clean and efficient energy by 2025 and Alabama by 2035 aligns well with DOE’s recent announcements. We wholeheartedly believe that the most cost effective energy is energy you do not need to use. This is why we put so much focus on energy conservation and efficiency. Then and only then should renewable energy, energy storage, and other forms of distributed generation be considered.

We’re hard at work with our partners to bring some of DOE’s investment in clean energy to Alabama. As always, we can never have enough committed team members and we hope you’ll join us.

-Daniel