Support Maine's solar bill

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When stakeholders from both the private and public sector, large and small business, Republicans, Democrats, environmental groups, CMP, Emera, the Public Advocate and others work for a year and come up with a bill that they all agree on, we should support that bill. L.D. 1649, the Solar Bill, is such a bill.

It is a jobs bill. L.D. 1649 could bring 800 new jobs to Maine. It is an environmental bill, solar energy is good for the planet. It is an economic development bill and an energy bill, with the potential to lower electricity costs for many.

I grew up in a home in the 1970s and ’80s with one of the few solar installations in our town. Back then solar electricity wasn’t close to being an option in New England, but heat and hot water were. It took an engineering degree (dad worked on nuclear submarines so he was qualified) to be able to run a solar heat and hot water system. We were warm and had nice hot water, though winter mornings were a little cool for a high school kid. Solar technology has come a long way since then, it’s less expensive, easier to install and photovoltaic electricity works in Maine!

With the passage of this bill, schools, businesses and government buildings could find it easier to install solar panels and save money on their energy bills. Homeowners could continue to produce their own energy and to export and be compensated for the excess energy they produce.

If we are thinking about this bill merely as a fight about “solar energy” then we are thinking small. Solar energy is more than a renewable energy source. It is a tool for Maine people, Maine’s future and Maine’s economy. It is an easy way to choose to grow good paying, skilled jobs for Maine people.

Please contact your representatives and let them know you support Solar for Maine.

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