Solar a Green Economic Game Changer by Denise Abdul-Rahman

Indiana has an estimated 600 early adopters of rooftop solar.  Rooftop solar and community solar gardens are beneficial to all, but more specifically to low-income, people of color that are primarily disproportionately impacted by environmentally related decisions.  There appears to be no plans for rooftop solar within 1quality of life plans we researched. Environmental opportunities, projects, resources should benefit those most disproportionately impacted.  There are vast benefits to committing to green economics within Hub Zones of Indianapolis and throughout Indiana. 

Game Changers:


1. Create solar installation training opportunities benefiting those within the community
2. Ivy Tech does not have a solar installer program within Indianapolis
3. Solar and basic environmental climate justice education within public schools
4. IPS nor FWCS have solar, 2up to 60% of the 125,000 K-12 schools can “go solar” cost effectively.  There are only 12 schools in Indiana with solar. The benefits are economical, educational, healthier and responsible
5. Local nonprofits should be allotted resources to offer programming within thier communities, providing education and jobs.  (in addition, to commitments to entreprenuers, commitments to nonprofits create healthy communities, learning and jobs)



1. Marion county has high ozone levels
2. 3Marion county Head Start children and asthma Prevalence for (2011)
• Early Head Start ages (2-3) 10.3% 
• Head Start  age( 3-5) 13%
• An estimated 150,780  Indiana school aged children (9.8%) currently have asthma (2009)
• Zip codes 46218, 46226, 46250, 46235 and 46229 are 2 to 3 times the county rate


3. Black children under the age of 18 visit the ER more frequently than white children in the same age group, the ER rate is 3 times higher
4. Clean energy commitment is a high value to those impacted


Energy Poverty:  According to Home Energy Affordability In Indiana ‘Energy efficiency is a necessary, but not sufficient, response to the problem of unaffordable home energy.  Low income efficiency initiatives are inadequately funded to comprehensively address unaffordability.’



1. Third most violent city in the nation according to City Data Crime Indianapolis in the Balance
2. Indianapolis, IN unemployment rate February 2015 was 6.4%, Black unemployment is 12.8 as of 2014 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics 


Politics:    Create an environmental climate justice committee and add to the Office of Sustainability a division of Environmental Climate Justice Outreach. 


Green Economics Benefits :  

We recommend policy creation for roof top solar and community solar garden development.  We recommend solar primarily, because it creates a local hire component for solar installation. It also directly positively impacts the  energy cost of the homeowner or tenant.  In fact, net metering can empower the distributed generator, because they can earn a credit and net zero their energy bill.   We recommend near future policies that start preparing builders, realtor and bankers to begin incorporating solar, as a Socially Corporate Responsible proactive step, toward community reinvestment.  This proactivity will prevent the inevitable…. a  Just Energy gap.  All of the above game changers will have a positive impact on our Indianapolis community.

1MidTown Indy Great Places 2020

National Solar Schools Census, 2015,

3 Catching your breath:  Asthma in Marion County, December 2011,









Report created by Indiana Green Outreach, May 2015


INDIANA NAACP Announces Promoting Equitable Access to Clean Energy Alternatives

For Immediate Release
February 21, 2015 at 5:00 pm Eastern Standard
Contact:  Denise Abdul-Rahman, IN NAACP
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.




AT KHPREW INSTITUTE, 3549 Boulevard Place, Indianapolis, IN


Please go to Khprew Institute website  SAVING LIVES.  They are mentoring youth, providing a social incubator for the community and they are Crowdsourced funding a project that includes ROOF-TOP SOLAR.

Their work really exemplifies the mission of the Indiana NAACP Environmental Climate Justice Committee and we are asking you to help us to support their vision.  It is urban, it is youth, it is not-for-profit, it is elderly and it is community.  It is what the Indiana NAACP might call #JUSTENERGY!

JustEnergy !

Let’s Blog and Social Media our discussion!


Why do the ratepayers continue to get bombarded with infinite rate increase requests?   There is no real consumer protection in HB 1320; however, the bill does facilitate Electric Utility Loss Revenue Protections.   What a Sweet Deal!

House Bill 1320 is a very dangerous bill. It sets a very horrific precedent that allows Electric Utility monopolies to keep on monopolizing and ensuing tactics that will allow them to galvanize enough time to revamp their archaic business model.

The Electric Utility is incurring Revenue Losses. Why? Because industrial powers plants are looming dinosaurs and energy efficiency reduces the use of energy. In fact, once our Electric Energy System is modernized with clean and renewable energy, then we can most likely seize to even contemplate energy efficiency methodologies and goals.

Yesterday evening, on the House floor, Representative Eric Koch, announced that the hearing on HB 1320 will be February 18th, Wednesday at 1:30 pm. The goal of the bill is to provide “fairness and equity” on behalf of a “Typical Customer.”

HB 1320 proposes to impose a tax and completely change the existing Indiana Net Metering Policy.   According to NAACP Just Energy: Reducing Pollution and Creating Jobs, Indiana Report, February 2014, Indiana provides a retail credit for ratepayers with system capacities of 1,000 kW, however, providing credit to ratepayers with system capacities up to 2,000 kW would provide more flexibility and incentives for in-state renewable energy generation and would help individual consumers and small businesses to affordably access clean energy resources.

It is fairer to prop up distributed generating ratepayers, then to prop up Electric Utilities. We believe there are far more benefits to our communities to cultivate a solar and wind friendly environment. The imposition of a Net Metering Tax will hinder solar and wind industry investments in our state, deterring free competition, and as a result hindering the solar industry, minority solar business enterprise opportunities and job opportunities. The Indiana unemployment rate is approximately 5% and among African Americans it is approximately 11%.  The Solar Foundation reports solar industry jobs are eight times greater than oil or gas. In addition, African Americans spent 41 billion on energy in 2009; they only held 1.1% of the energy jobs according to a 2010 study conducted by the American Association of Blacks in Energy.

The Indiana NAACP believes HB 1320 creates uncertainty in the net metering policy and that’s not fair.

Denise Abdul-Rahman-President and CEO