Thank you, Denise! Green Needham is pleased to see that Representative Denise Garlick was among those House members who signed a crucial letter in support of the Massachusetts solar industry.
Initiated by Representatives Cory Atkins and James O’Day, the letter was signed by 101 representatives — nearly 2/3 of the House members. The strong statement of support for the solar industry was addressed to the three House members who sit on the House-Senate committee that has been trying for months to work out a compromise on solar energy legislation.
This pro-solar statement was a highly unusual move. Why? Just last November, solar advocates were dismayed when the House passed nearly unanimously a last-minute solar bill containing provisions that would undermine the solar industry in Massachusetts. Among other provisions, the bill would have severely cut the net metering rates at which solar power generators are paid for the electricity they deliver to the grid.
In contrast to that discouraging vote, the letter drafted by Rep. Atkins urges the joint-committee negotiators to act expeditiously and adopt a strong net metering policy. “In particular, we are concerned that sharp cuts to net metering credit value will irreparably harm Massachusetts’ solar industry and its 15,000 employees. Resetting all new solar projects to the wholesale net metering credit rate will make it prohibitively difficult to finance low-income, community shared solar or municipal projects.”
The turn-about evidenced by the pro-solar letter is a testament to the intense lobbying efforts by environmental, interfaith, business, and municipal groups and also to legislators who refined their positions after careful consideration of information about solar policy and its benefits to residents, businesses and the Massachusetts economy.