Special Legislative Update

Salutations Readers. As the direction of clean energy in NC will be critically impacted by the outcomes of several pending legislative issues, we would like to focus this blog  on the current legislative landscape for renewables in North Carolina.There are 3 areas of pending legislation that could really change things for North Carolinians: The Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit, The effort to repeal the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards, and The Energy Freedom Act.

According to the Solar Energy Industry Association, last year North Carolina is in second place, behind California, for new solar project installations in the United States. It is believed that 2014 had 22,995 people employed directly in clean energy jobs. This includes jobs in geothermal, biomass, wind, energy efficiency, solar, and hydro-power sectors. This figure does not include the many indirect jobs. Renewable Energy offers a sustainable, healthy and viable way forward for our state. It will take education, effort and citizen participation to keep our state renewable energy friendly. Policies like the Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit and the REPS have created a favorable environment for the growth and success of renewables. We’d like to see North Carolina take the lead in installed solar, we think you would too.

We’d like to give a shout out to NCSEA – the North Carolina Solar Energy Association for all of their amazing and relentless work on behalf of solar for North Carolina. They always have the most current information on all things solar. Check them out. Also, NC WARN is on the frontlines of keeping us informed on issues and giving us ways to take action. In this issue of our newsletter, rather than moving to the “Action You Can Take” section, you’ll find the action you can take in each update.

The Renewable Energy Tax Investment Credit

The North Carolina Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit was established in 1999 and has been renewed in 5 year increments since. Currently, the tax credit will expire on 12/31/2015. The credit can be taken against both personal and corporate income tax. The credit amount is 35% of the eligible installation costs up to 50% of a taxpayer’s tax liability. The commercial credit is limited to $2.5 million per installation and must be taken in five equal annual installments. Click this link here to see what resources are eligible for the tax credits as well as more details about the tax credits.

As of this week, the Senate has delayed the rollout of the proposed budget but it is anticipated later this week. The Senate is considering the House budget (HB97) which includes a 2 year extension of the tax credit.

At this point in time, the most helpful thing you can do is to contact your Senators (now- don’t put this off) and let them know that you want them to support an extension of the Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit. If you are unsure of your Senators, or how to best contact them, use this link . This is a great campaign to involve friends and family in as well.

Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards

The growth of NC’s solar industry was spurred significantly in 2007 when NC passed Senate Bill 3 and adopted a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS.) This bill mandated that  Utilities generate 12.5% of their energy through renewable resources. The North Carolina General Assembly prioritized the use of solar electric/thermal and swine and poultry waste with “set-asides” for each. The solar industry met its targeted set-aside of at least 0.07% in 2012 much more quickly and cost-effectively than could have been predicted, and has led to significant economic impact and job creation in our state.

House Bill 332, Energy Policy Amendments, would stall the standards at 6 percent. Initially introduced to address cost recovery for natural gas utilities, the REPS amendment was added later. The North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) and the national group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) oppose the proposed changes to REPS. Several AEE member companies working in North Carolina’s nascent but growing solar market issued statements against the “job-killing” legislation. “H332 is unfair to the entire ecosystem of local businesses who supply solar in N.C. This bill threatens many of the 23,000 jobs and the $4.8 billion in annual revenue that have been created in N.C. thanks to the REPS,” said Melanie Santiago-Mosier, director of government affairs for SunEdison. “It would disqualify many solar projects from longstanding benefits that make clean, renewable energy valuable for owners, on grounds that are arbitrary and capricious. Changing the rules of the road like this is anti-business and anti-consumer.”

The bill passed in the House and was sent to the Senate in late April. Language on reforming the REPS contained in H332 also exists in HB 760, the state’s omnibus regulatory reform bill, which is currently making its way through the state Senate. A third bill with the same language (HB 681) failed in the state House in late April.

NCSEA’s Legislative Weekly reported on Friday, June 12, that there was no movement that week on these bills. Time is of the essence to reach out to your Representatives asking them to oppose House Bill 332 and any energy policies that put our clean energy future at a stall.

The Energy Freedom Act – Third Party Sales

The Energy Freedom Act, introduced in March as House Bill 245, would allow third-party sales of electricity. Currently, NC is one of five states that prohibit the sale of electricity by any other entity than the Utility company. Adoption of this Bill would introduce market competition to the current utility monopoly by allowing solar leasing options by renewable energy companies.

The leasing model has been very popular in states like California where companies like Solar City and Sungevity have been very active. According to GTM Research, two out of three new residential solar installations in the US were third-party owned in 2013.  Leasing has expanded the penetration of solar significantly in mid to lower income households as it eliminates the upfront costs of purchasing.  Customers enter into a long-term contract and ownership is maintained by the solar company. While this model has undeniably led to more widespread adoption of solar energy systems, the benefits and disadvantages need to be weighed carefully against direct ownership itself. For customers who can take advantage of tax incentives and have the financial resources or financing to purchase the system themselves, direct purchase may offer greater financial savings.

However, as pointed out in a recent blog by NCSEA entitled “In NC, Everyone Can Win with Third-Party Sales of Electricity” leasing would be a boon to our military facilities and university system. Government institutions, non- profit organizations, faith communities, and others that can’t directly benefit from tax credits may find that a leasing contract offers an opportunity to bring clean energy generation to their facilities.  Large corporations such as Wal-Mart, Target, Lowes and Family Dollar support the legislation, and interestingly, Duke Energy Renewables, the unregulated arm of Duke Energy, recently made a major investment in REC Solar, a leading third-party solar company.

NCSEA reports that action has been taken on this legislation these past few weeks, but support for this bill is growing every day.  Call Your Legislator and ask them to support House Bill 245 today.


Cheers To Efficiency!

We are excited to share this blog BUILD-A-BREWERY: COLD BEER, WARM FEET that featured our radiant floor installation in the liquid center at New Belgium’s new brewery being constructed in Asheville.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

This month we poured the concrete floors in the Asheville Liquid Center, and while it may look like any concrete floor, embedded in it is approximately 4,000 feet of ½ inch PEX tubing, installed by Asheville-based renewable energy company Sundance Power Systems.

Laid out in carefully calculated looping pathways to ensure even heat distribution, this network of tubing is part of a hydronic radiant floor heating system. Come late fall and cooler temperatures, hot water will be pumped and circulated through this tubing, and the floor will essentially become one large radiator, warming the surface of objects in the space as well as the air itself. This even heat provides great comfort, but radiant floor heating is a highly efficient way to heat a building as well. Most people feel comfortable at room temperatures 3 to 5 degrees cooler than in rooms heated by forced air systems, resulting in less fuel use. It’s also quiet and clean as there’s no forced air blowing dust, dander and other unknowns about.

We’re all about producing world-class beer, while proving business can be a force for good. Partners like Sundance Power Systems help us do that by helping us implement continuous, innovative quality and efficiency improvements. Thanks Sundance! Cheers to warm feet and cold beers!

Build-a-Brewery: We have partnered with some amazing folks in the process of building our brewery, liquid center and distribution center here in Asheville, NC. Let us tell you about how they are helping us get our east coast home up and running.


Faith Communities Embrace Solar

“The use of fossil fuels just seems to be something that we can no longer accommodate. If there is any way we can move to better alternatives, we believe that the Church needs to be a leader in that.” This powerful statement by Reverend Randy Orwig of Elon College Community Church in the video Clean Energy works for Us, produced by North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light (NCIP&L,) epitomizes the recent embracement of solar energy by congregations across the state. Undoubtedly, NCIP&L, which works with faith communities to address the causes and consequences of global climate change and promote practical, hope-filled responses through education, outreach, and public policy advocacy, has been a significant force in this movement.

When the 5 kW solar electric system was installed for Elon Community Church in the Spring of 2013, they were only the third congregation in NC to go solar, according to the article Elon Community Church going green with solar panels. First Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheville led the way and has served as a model since they installed their 10 kW system in April of 2011. David Andes, chairman of Elon’s Green Church Committee, summarized why their group committed to install solar in saying “Eventually, it will save the church money. But it was really to make an environmental statement and have an impact. We want to be a witness to the community and show that earth care is part of who we are as a congregation.”

Caring for creation and the stewardship of our planet is increasingly part of many congregations’ ministries, as evident by the GreenFaith Certification Program. The Episcopal Church of the Holy Family in Mills River, NC, is one of the first in NC to undertake this comprehensive certification process, and the Green Team currently is submitting their final documentation. Their greening initiatives did include the installation of an 8.1 kW solar system, which was commissioned on the 21st of October. (After they’ve seen this system in operation for a few more months, we will do a more in-depth spotlight on their initiatives in the New Year.)

Following with the solar suit, so to say, are two other congregations that our Field Crews are currently installing: The First Christian Church in Black Mountain with a 12.42 kW system, and The First United Methodist Church in Franklin with a 10.7 kW system. Reverend Joe Hoffman of the First Congregational United Church of Christ says in NCIP&L’s video “Being the first faith community in WNC to do this, it was surprising to me how many people noticed.”

Evidently, people are noticing, and these efforts are making a big impact. Opportunities to engage are widening; even the Western North Carolina Alliance, a grassroots organization that has been championing environmental protection for over 30 years, has recently formed a dedicated program to the cause, the Creation Care Alliance of WNC. The Asheville Bioneers Conference this year is dedicating an entire evening to explore and broaden the conversation, with a panel including perspectives from Judaism, Wicca, and Presbyterian faiths. (See calendar for more details.) For all five of the Churches mentioned, installing solar involved significant commitment and strong leadership, (the process is now much simpler thanks to the work of these first models) but these systems stand to inspire and demonstrate what is possible when faith, vision, and community come together.


“Why the Net Energy Metering Debate Misses the Point”

As the topic of net metering is a very important one concerning solar in NC, we thought we’d share this thought-provoking article authored by Matt Lehrman & Peter Bronski and originally published on the Rocky Mountain Institute’s September blog.

“Why the Net Energy Metering Debate Misses the Point”

It’s no secret that net energy metering (NEM) is a controversial topic in the electricity world these days. Customers love the way it helps solar PV offset their utility bill and adds clean energy to their home or business. Some solar advocates argue it is foundational to the continued growth of rooftop solar (as an early-market mechanism, it’s been tremendously successful). And many utilities loathe it, seeing NEM as a “free ride” for solar customers (since a rooftop solar customer could, for instance, net to zero over the course of a month and have a $0 utility bill, thereby avoiding paying for the value of being grid-connected), while also arguing that they can add more renewables to the grid at a lower cost through utility-scale projects than can customers through individual distributed systems on residential rooftops. Then there’s the issue of the benefits that distributed solar brings to the grid.

But the debate around the continuation, expansion, reform, or abolishment of NEM distracts from a much bigger opportunity to unleash innovation and investment in distributed energy resources (DERs) in ways that are better for everyone: customers, DER providers, and utilities alike.


The real lever for unleashing innovation in DERs, including rooftop solar, is the widely held utility rate structure of bundled, block, volumetric pricing. The per-kWh price customers pay for electricity service bundles many components—energy, capacity, frequency regulation, reliability, environmental attributes, and much more. When we net meter with bundled, block, volumetric pricing, perverse incentives and cross-subsidies emerge that encourage customers to install DERs that maximize benefits on one side of the meter (theirs), which often leaves significant value on the table (or can even discourage customers from installing DERs), including value that can cross over the meter to benefit the grid.

Read More…


News Worth Cheering To!

It was really rewarding to see Kyocera’s press release on Sierra Nevada’s new brewery’s solar installations make the Wall Street Journal, with two mentions to the Sundance team. It’s great to work with great partners like Kyocera, and Sierra Nevada, who is raising the bar for sustainability standards.


 KYOCERA Solar Modules Tapped by Sierra Nevada to Power New Brewery in Mills River, NC

Solar installation makes energy-intensive brewing process sustainable

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–July 30, 2014–

Nearly everyone enjoys a good beer now and again. A delicious beer sustainably brewed with renewable energy that pours down from the sun might make that happy hour indulgence even more enjoyable.

Kyocera Solar Inc. announced today that Sundance Power Systems Inc. has installed 650 kilowatts (DC) of high-quality Kyocera solar modules on Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s new Mills River, North Carolina brewery. The modules will help power the brewery’s energy-intensive processes, making Sierra Nevada beers brewed there arguably among the most environmentally friendly adult beverages available. A video of the rooftop array can be seen at

“Kyocera has been a leader in the solar industry for nearly four decades, and is committed to helping commercial enterprises operate in a sustainable fashion,” said Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar Inc. “We ‘raise our glass’ to Sierra Nevada for utilizing the abundant power of the sun to brew its delicious beers, and stand ready to assist other companies in following these sustainable footsteps.”

With roots in Northern California, Sierra Nevada takes the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle” seriously, and is committed to operating an environmentally sustainable enterprise. The 2,030 Kyocera KD320 photovoltaic (PV) solar modules atop the new brewery’s packaging center and warehouse exemplify this philosophy.

“Integrating renewable energy into our Mills River facility was an important part of our project design,” said Cheri Chastain, sustainability manager at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. “Sundance Power Systems designed and installed our 650kW Kyocera solar system, which covers nearly two acres on our roof. We are looking forward to enjoying many years of renewable energy from this system.”

Over a year, the Kyocera PV modules are estimated to offset 588 metric tons of CO(2) , a carbon impact equal to removing 124 cars from the road according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Kyocera has powered the market’s most demanding solar applications for four decades — from residential rooftops to utility-scale PV plants ranking among the world’s largest. Craft brewers now see solar as a step toward economic independence as well as sustainability and simpler living. Other brewers using Kyocera modules include Central Waters Brewing Co. of Amherst, Wisc., and Pizza Port Brewing Co. of Carlsbad, Calif.

Sierra Nevada will host its first public event for its Mills River brewery on Sunday, August 3, 2014, from 1-6pm, when the company’s Beer Camp Across America, a seven-city touring festival, makes its grand finale in North Carolina. With more than 110 regional craft breweries pouring, attendees will sample artisanal varieties while enjoying live music and — like the Kyocera solar panels on the roof — soaking up the summer sun.

To learn more about Kyocera Solar solutions for both residential and commercial projects in the U.S. and Mexico, please contact or 800-223-9580.


Sundance’s Green Yogini Reflects on Solar Solutions

This past weekend I was invited to speak about solar at the Yogis Beyond Coal event in downtown Asheville.  As I thought about what I wanted to say, I thought about how important it is to remind ourselves of all that is going right. Dave and I started Sundance Power because, after years of Greenpeace and focusing on the many problems, we wanted to focus on the solutions. We wanted to LIVE the solution. And solar is a solution! Dave and I started Sundance back in 1995 and we’ve been living in a solar home for that long as well. I really love living on solar- it works better than the grid (we never lose power), it feels good and it makes me happy.

So- let’s take a few moments and just enjoy all that is good and joyful. For example- the price of residential PV systems continues to come down. Right now, solar is costing in the neighborhood of $3.50 per watt and it is predicted that soon, about 2018 – even if coal were free to burn, power stations won’t be able to compete with solar. (say what? – yea- check it here: solar win.) With solar there is no mining, no burning, no coal ash ponds, no toxic burden, no compromise- solar makes use of the sun, which is shining and sending us energy, whether we use it or not.

Yogis beyond Coal is about shutting down the coal fired power plants- as you must know by now, coal fired power plants represent the biggest contribution to global warming, not to mention all of the local health hazards posed for the neighbors of coal fired plants. The thing is – we no longer need to be held hostage by the utilities. It has never been easier to go solar and NC is one of the best places in the United States to go solar! NC is actually #2 in the nation for installed PV in 2013 (woo hoo) AND- more people are now employed in the solar industry than in the mining industry AND Germany produced a record 50% of its electricity needs through solar in the first part of June- a huge milestone on the march to renewable energy!

 The reality is that each solar system installed is a victory. Each system is a step towards the world we want to live in. Through the Solarize Asheville program, Sundance has been able to install 50 new solar systems in the area- these systems will displace 226,000 lbs of coal, each year. These systems will also result in 210 metric tons of carbon dioxide NOT going into the atmosphere.

And- here is more about the Yogis Beyond Coal gathering this past weekend. In addition to learning how to defeat Coal and move forward with renewables, YBC also raised $270 for Homeward Bound- our featured community connection this month. There is a whole lot of good going on right now – and you can be a part of it! Truly, there has never been a better time to go solar- give us a call :)   – Sierra Hollister


The Green Building Boom in WNC

A recent article entitled “Green building booms in Asheville” caught my attention, and I thought I’d share some of the encouraging trends that we are seeing in green building in this region, in place of focusing on a single home this month.  According to Dale Neal, with the Asheville Citizen Times, “Green building accounts for about half of the new home construction underway inside the city limits — 25 certified green homes out of 59 new single family projects. West Asheville is even hotter for green building — eight of the last 13 home projects that sold and closed in the past six months were certified green.”  This is certainly noteworthy! (Green homes are certified in North Carolina through the WNC Green Building Council’s NC Green Built Program.)

“A focus on green building has given an edge to builders and real estate professionals as consumers started looking at smaller, quality-built homes that will save them money on power bills,” it states in the article. Jody Guokas of JAG & Associates Construction, a pioneering Green Builder on the Asheville front, affirmed the pick-up in his business, saying he’s got fourteen projects in progress, a doubling since last Spring.  For Jody, being a leader in green building means staying on the cutting edge. “The baseline is moving in the direction of efficiency and is getting better and better. It makes jobs interesting, and challenging,” he said.  Jody was one of the first builders in the region to incorporate solar hot water in his homes as a standard over five years ago, and with the Davenport Park project, pictured above, has helped solar become more mainstream. This West Asheville green-infill neighborhood (featured back in our April 2009 Newsletter ) was completed last summer with fifteen homes. Five of the homes now sport solar electric systems, as the homeowners choose add pv.

When JAG’s customers choose to include solar, Jody has them pursue this directly, so that the tax incentives can be claimed by the homeowner.  Jarvis Hudson, who is building with JAG in Woodfin, is excited to be finally building a green home. Because it will be so efficient, he is able to include a solar electric, an opportunity he has been waiting a while.

While WNC has emerged as a hub of green building in the region, the trend is national, as “More Builders Going Green” confirms. According to that article, a variety of factors are aiding the move to green; builders and developers said that the three most important factors in their adoption of green building strategies were increasing energy costs, changes in codes and regulations, and wider availability and lower prices for green building products.

According to survey results, they report that the percentage of builders who said that less than 16% of their projects were green shrank from 63% in 2011 to 38% in the most recent study. That number is expected to fall to 16% by 2018.”These findings demonstrate that among home builders, and increasingly among single-family remodelers, green is becoming the standard way to build,” the report said. “This wider adoption of green may help push the single-family home market to become even greener in the future, with homes increasingly needing to be green to be competitive.”

As far as renewables go, the report  indicates that the number of builders incorporating clean energy systems into their projects also is growing steadily. In 2013, 8% of builders surveyed said they included renewables on all of the projects, which was expected to grow to 20% by 2016. The proportion of builders offering renewables as an option was 34% in 2013 but expected to increase to 40% by 2016.

The article did reference that one limitation on green features is that they haven’t always been recognized real estate appraisers in the past. However, this is changing rapidly, and the Appraisal Institute just published   “Residential Green Valuation Tools,” providing a comprehensive overview of the valuation of high-performance homes. Specifically for valuing solar energy systems, a PV Valuation Tool, developed by Sandia National Laboratories, determines the value of a new or existing photovoltaic (PV) system installed on residential and commercial properties. This is a significant step in ensuring that a solar investment is a solid one, with a quantifiable value-add realized immediately.

These are promising figures for moving our buildings towards increased efficiency, and healthier and more sustainable systems. It’s exciting to be in a community that has been leading the way.


Net- Metering and Solar in NC

Here in North Carolina, the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) requires the state’s two investor-owned utilities—Duke Energy and Dominion North Carolina Power—to make net metering available to customers that own and operate systems that generate electricity using solar, wind, hydro, ocean, or biomass systems. There are actually more options for entering net metering arrangements based on power generation, and you can check them out here:dsire usa.  It has been the standard that customers may net meter under any available rate schedule, however, customers that choose to take service under any tariff other than a time-of-use (TOU) demand tariff must surrender to the utility all renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with the customer’s generation- with no compensation for the customer.

 For the sake of ease, from here on out- we will simply address net metering as an arrangement between utilities and solar power producers (see many options beyond solar at above link). Net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid. It is ultimately a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. For example, if a residential customer has a PV system on their rooftop- it may generate more electricity than the home uses during the daylight hours. If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or other periods where the home’s electricity use exceeds the system’s output. Customers are only billed for their “net” energy use. On average, only 20-40% of a solar energy system’s output ever goes into the grid.

 Net metering allows utility customers to generate their own electricity cleanly and efficiently. As well, net metering provides substantial statewide economic benefits in terms of jobs, income and investment. Net metering increases demand for solar energy systems- which in turn create jobs for the installers, electricians and manufactures who work in the solar supply chain. Currently, the solar industry employs nearly 143,000 American workers in large part due to strong state net metering policies which have allowed the solar industry to thrive. As well, in a world that is increasingly faced with cheap, dirty power- supporting any and all renewable energy efforts make sense.

 It all sounds pretty great- right? The challenge comes as some utilities perceive net metering policies as lost revenue opportunities. The reality is that net metering policies create a smoother demand curve for electricity and allow utilities to better manage their peak electricity loads. By encouraging generation near the point of consumption, net metering also reduces the strain on distribution systems and prevents losses in long-distance electricity transmission and distribution.

 Earlier this year, Duke’s North Carolina President, Paul Newton, made remarks to a legislative committee about reviewing and changing the net metering rules. While Duke Energy and other utilities have yet to file proposed changes to net-metering at the North Carolina Utilities Commission, North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association’s (NCSEA) motion to address the market disruption caused by Duke’s statements earlier this year is still pending before the Utilities Commission. NCSEA asked current net-metering customers to file statements at the NC Utilities Commission to preserve the current rules. Other organizations have also asked the public to file statements in support of the current rules for net-metering. For more information on the landscape of net metering and renewable energy issues, visit the NCSEA at

 Action You Can Take

 North Carolina is currently a national leader in the production of solar energy, boasting more than 2,400 solar energy jobs. As more people choose to use self-generated rooftop solar, the lower the amount of power we collectively purchase from the utilities, and the fewer the new, costly power plants the utilities would need to build.

 As of March 17, 2014, over 150 statements were filed at the NC Utilities Commission opposing changes to net metering. If you are a solar adopter, a net-metering customer, or have a job in the solar industry and want to preserve the option to self-generate, then write an email to the “Chief Clerk of the Commission” subject line “Docket E-100, Sub 83:Net Metering” to stake your position in the discussion.

Let them know that you DO NOT support changes to net metering.  Please send these emails to Thank you for taking action on this important issue.


Years of Living Dangerously- WNC Connection

Recently, a number of us Sundancers attended the “Green Carpet” premiere of Years of Living Dangerously that was hosted by the Asheville Beyond Coal campaign and held at the Highland Brewing Company in Asheville.

Yes, we had a lot of fun. But more importantly- I think that this new documentary series on the impacts of climate disruption by Showtime is going to really help shift perception. The series is all about exploring  the human impact of climate change. From the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy to the upheaval caused by drought in the Middle East,Years of Living Dangerously is combining the storytelling styles of top Hollywood movie makers with the reporting expertise of respected journalists.

The Sunday night premiere shared a trailer with our local hero, Anna Jane Joyner, of Western North Carolina Alliance as well as full episode called “The Crossroads of Climate and Faith”. This episode was narrated and reported by Don Cheadle. He traveled to Texas to try and understand the long term effects of drought and as well, to see if there was a connection to climate change. Along his travels, he met and interviewed an Evangelical climate scientist (who was awesome). Part of the episode was about how this climate scientist reconciles her faith and science and how she speaks about climate change with people of faith. I found this episode fascinating, refreshing and very well- done.

Truthout carried a recent article about the new series, authored by Denise Robbins, that points out that “even as top reports are showing that the issue [of climate change] is becoming a dire threat that calls for immediate action, a Pew Research poll indicates that Americans continue to rank addressing climate change as a low priority. Social science research indicates that how people rank the importance of various issues is a direct result of media coverage of the issue.” Airing a documentary, weekly, on climate change, made with some of the top talent in the country can only be a step forward for us all.

You can learn more about Years of Living Dangerously as well as view some of the episodes and trailers here:

If you don’t have access to a screen or showtime, Asheville Beyond Coal is hosting a viewing party at 7pm on May 8th at the New Mountain Music Park at 38 N. French Broad Street. You can email Anna Jane Joyner for specifics.

Check it out and then get others to watch as well. This could be the start of a national dialogue that has been sorely absent-  and not a moment too soon.


Solarize Asheville Closes with a Strong Finish

Friday, February 28th, the deadline for contract signing for the pilot Solarize Asheville program, was a big day for our team. Six months after this community campaign was announced to the public and the first Solar 101 info session was held, the final numbers were in: Fifty Asheville homeowners signed on to have a solar electric system installed at their homes. From young families with children to retirees, the group is diverse, but all were excited to be embracing clean energy through this initiative.

The average system size was 4.2 kW, with systems ranging in size from 2.0 kW to 8.7 kW. The collective impact of these fifty systems, which total 236.257 kilowatts DC, is that 225,936 pounds of coal will be displaced by clean solar energy each year, offsetting 210 metric tons of Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere. This is the equivalent amount of Carbon sequestered by 5,394 tree seedlings grown for 10 years!

(These estimates were calculated using PV Watts, a Performance Calculator for Grid-Connected PV Systems, and the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.)

Congratulations to everyone who Solarized! Indeed, every system that is installed is part of the solution! And for those who weren’t able to participate in the pilot program, be assured that we will continue to offer the best value, and the best service, to you. Just give us a call!