We Must Act. We Can Act. We Do Act.

Florida’s Unexpected Game Changer

Could gamechangerblogimagesit be that Amendment 1 may actually be the vehicle that can help decide one of the most divided elections of our times?

I have always said everything in life happens for a reason and I can see the master plan playing out before our eyes. Right now, Florida is the epicenter of the most intense election in recent history. It is also the only state in the union that is threatened daily by the adverse effects of climate change.

Amendment 1 is a deceptive scheme brought on by the monopoly utilities to protect their super power and prey on the peoples’ inherit desire for a cleaner, healthier future, and in many cases, the physical safety of their homes.

This fierce David vs Goliath battle — solar power vs fossil fuel super powers — have awoken a sleeping giant, the people of Florida. Our grassroots effort is motivating people to go to the polls and vote NO on Amendment 1, regardless of party affiliation or presidential choice. The opposition may have a lot of money but the peoples’ voices are stronger.

The bi-product of our grassroots solar effort has motivated disenfranchised voters that would otherwise sit out of the vote because they are frustrated with both Presidential candidates. We have lit a fire in them to stand up against the monopoly utilities and head to the polls. And here’s the catch — once they are at the polling booth I am almost certain that the majority of them will vote for the nominee who has an aggressive climate agenda and is prepared to combat climate change. Our efforts to raise awareness on this important solar issue may just sway the nation’s Presidential results!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women4Solar Attend NO ON 1 Press Conference in West Palm Beach

img_1306Women4Solar is all about “advocacy and action” and we stand by our word. Today, our staff attended one of the 12 simultaneous #NoOn1 press conferences that took place across the state of Florida. At the West Palm Beach location, Capt. Carter Quillen’s Archimedes, AKA, The “No On 1” solar boat was the backdrop as attendees heard from State Representative Lori Berman; County Commissioner Paulette Burdick; Pamela Goodman, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida; Justin Hoysradt, CEO & Public Policy at Vinyasun, and our very own CEO, Raina Russo.

img_1337“What is happening here in Florida feels to me like sheer madness,” Raina shared with the crowd. “We have 5 Amendments on the ballot this year, yet only Amendment 1 requires $25 million dollars to market and explain. An amendment to our constitution should not require any explanation let alone such a costly one. Yes, to medical marijuana or not? Doesn’t require a college degree. You are either for or against. But Amendment 1 isn’t saying what it means and the people have caught on.”

img_1331With less than a week left till Election Day, the push to get the word out has never been more urgent. The grassroots No On 1 effort is working hard but, as County Commissioner Burdick said, “This is a true David vs. Goliath story.”

 

 

An Open Letter to Consumers for Smart Solar and the CEO’s of the Four Major Utilities backing Amendment 1

 

An open letter to Consumers for Smart Solar and Executives of the four major Utilities that are funding this Coalition; FP&L, Duke Energy, Tampa Electric & Gulf Power:

I write to you as a hopeful and yet frightened resident of South Florida. There is a groundswell of anxiety, confusion and, what appears at times, plain madness surrounding solar energy in Florida. Specifically, how will Amendment 1 affect the future of solar? And when I say the future of solar I might as well be saying, the future of our communities, our children and the planet.

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My home proudly outfitted with solar panels.

As an advocate for solar and, someone who has joined hands with every other solar entity in the country in opposing the Amendment, I am pausing for a moment. I am eager to understand what is so “smart” about this Amendment? Why the need to spend massive amounts of money promoting the Amendment? If the benefits are so clear cut why does the public need that much explaining? How can we all work together for our future?

Please help clear the air and respond to these core issues that are at the heart of every solar energy advocate that I have spoken to (and I promise I’ve done my homework). Change can be nerve-racking and anxiety-ridden. Especially in this current heated election climate it stands to reason that many are on edge and not seeing the issues clearly. So, I implore you to clarify the following six questions and help in emphasizing the commonalities of our approaches.

Q1: What changes, if any, does Consumers for Smart Solar envision, with or without passage of Amendment 1, on Florida’s net metering policy? Please be specific.

Q2: If the widely-cited Brookings study on net metering — Rooftop solar: Net metering is a net benefit — found net metering to be a net benefit and that solar is NOT subsidized by non-solar customers, how do you think net metering and other laws or regulations pertaining to solar need(s) to change in Florida?

Q3: You have said that non-solar customers subsidize solar customers. What specific subsidies would be unfair to all Floridians, especially those who don’t want to, or cannot, go solar?

Q4: If Florida’s utilities are in fact committed to an equitable solar market, would you support a mandate, with conditions, to produce a certain percent of electricity sales from solar by, say, 2025? If not, why not?

Q5: If utilities are committed to solar for the state’s benefit, including its economic future, and the jobs a robust rooftop solar market could create, why not remove the severe limits to solar in Florida now as Georgia did? That is a relevant case study to follow, is it not?

Q6: What would you say if North Carolina, Kentucky and Oklahoma all lifted their severe limits on residential solar, (as Georgia recently did) leaving Florida as the last such state?

We all must walk the walk in life to be taken seriously. Words can be confusing and misinterpreted but action is everything. Within my existing rights I have installed solar on my Delray Beach home and I drive an electric vehicle. My children see me as their “solar mom” trying to do my part. I have built up Women4Solar, an advocacy and action firm, to help others do the same. Again, I ask you, Consumers for Smart Solar and all four major Florida Utilities, how is Amendment 1 enabling the market for solar energy to grow in Florida?

The entire nation’s solar industry stands in unison, alongside 24 Florida newspapers, and over 185 organizations all opposing the amendment that you have put forth. If this amendment is designed to promote the growth of rooftop solar then why are they all opposing this? Something has gone awry and it’s time to put the issues that are keeping Floridians up at night to rest.

Our rising seas don’t discriminate; our lives and livelihood are at risk more so than almost any other place on the planet. We all want to be able to do our share and change the destructive course we are in the best way possible — while creating local jobs and supporting our local economy. We want to choose solar energy without feeling threatened and without breaking the bank. We’re not asking for a free ride, just simply a clear road without unnecessary obstacles or frightening unforeseen future penalties.

With elections around the corner, time is of the essence and clarity on these key issues would go an extremely long way. Please respond to the point by Nov 2nd at 5pm ET. We all have the right to make an informed decision when heading to the polls. Let’s work together!

With respect and much hope for a brighter future,

Raina Russo
Founder & CEO of Women4Solar

 

Women Will Drive the Solar Message Home

A note from our Founder, Raina Russo:

In honor of International Women’s Day and really in honor of women every day I want to share with you my thoughts on why we believe CREW has yet again cracked the code and poised to play an extraordinary roll ensuring the solar industry is relevant and on a trajectory to enormous success.

Based on our national research and numerous substantiated reports, women are the chief purchasing officers of the typical American household and they dominate the solar decision making process.

Who better to hand deliver the solar message to these decision makers, these CPO’s of our homes, if not solar women themselves?! IMG_9445

CREW is expanding rapidly, creating a nationwide community of Solar Powered Super Heroes. We are hitting our communities, delivering an empowering solar message straight to the heart and soul of the people we surround ourselves with. School soccer fields, coffee shops, the gym… we are combining work and play to build a sustainable future.

Though CREW, we are offering actionable solutions to the problems of climate change, health risks and rising energy costs. We are taking action to help save our planet, creating a better future for our children and putting money in our pockets while doing so.

This is a scenario where everyone on board is a winner.

The solar industry currently suffers from a tremendous imbalance that sees men far outnumber women in all areas. But CREW’s inclusive culture, work flexibility and spirit of giving as part of the mission is attracting huge percentages of women. We are going to lead the industry in female recruitment, and not just bridge the gender gap but blow it out of the water.

If we want more renewable energy, we need to put more women in power. CREW has opened that door. CREW has cracked the code.

I’m Raina Russo, the Original Solar Mom, and I approve this message.

If you would like to become a solar powered super hero consider joining our crew today.

For more details on CREW including more on this message please watch our latest training call.

 


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