For Immediate Release
February 21, 2015 at 5:00 pm Eastern Standard
Contact: Denise Abdul-Rahman, IN NAACP
INDIANA NAACP Announces
Promoting Equitable Access to Clean Energy Alternatives
Indianapolis, IN The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held it’s first quarterly board meeting for 2015. A resolution on Equitable Access to Clean Energy Alternatives was approved today. “We believe equitable access to clean energy is important, for it to be equitable, it must be affordable” says The NAACP Environmental Climate Justice (ECJ) Director Jacqueline Patterson.
NAACP Board Member and Indiana NAACP State Conference President Barbara Bolling-Williams, was one of the 64 National Board Members in attendance in New York, NY. She says “Equitable access won’t happen for low-income communities if we have tariffs on distributed generation. The Indiana NAACP State Conference will continue to support programs and polices that ensure affordable access to clean energy options for all.”
The NAACP calls for government oversight of electricity providers and they should continue to ensure the availability and universal access to clean energy while keeping prices fair and transparent.
The solar industry currently employs 119,016 Americans and solar employment grew 13.2 percent over the past year, making it one of the fastest growing industries in the country. And distributed solar located within communities would bring jobs to local communities as local ownership brings 2 to 3 times more jobs per kilowatt than centralized energy systems. “We look forward to the solar industry continuing to collaborate with the Indiana NAACP so we may be instrumental in deepening the benefits to our communities,” Denise Abdul-Rahman, Indiana NAACP ECJ Chair
For the first time in history solar may present an opportunity for some low income families to produce their own energy and get out from under the cycle of paying up to 30% of annual monthly income for energy bills; and the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) has urged state and federal lawmakers to adopt fair, equitable, and non-regressive financing models to aid low-income households and communities to become more energy efficient (NBCSL Resolution ETE-14-32 (2014)); and the price of solar is dropping so fast that solar stands to become an important avenue out of energy poverty for many communities, provided that appropriate policy mechanisms are in place to ensure equitable access for all consumers.
Abdul-Rahman says “Indiana’s economy will be made stronger by developing policies that are more alternative energy friendly. We have an opportunity to strengthen our employment numbers, hire and train more of our underemployed or unemployed, and attract and retain the best from our Community Colleges and Universities. HB 1320 does not serve the conservative and yet progressive ideas of our state.”
Energy provides a basic yet vital foundation for economic opportunity and social advancement in low-income and communities of color and included in these innovations are distributed energy resources that can be placed on a home or property and provide electricity directly to the citizen, and if any excess electricity can be sold to the local utility.