Act Now: Your Solar Energy Advocacy Can Make a Difference

By:Suzanne Leta

May 13, 2021

SunPower Solar  Policy

Editor’s Note: In 2020, SunPower announced the completion of the strategic spin-off of its manufacturing division into a separate business named Maxeon Solar Technologies, Ltd. As a result, SunPower has expanded its offerings to drive future growth. The SunPower Equinox® system now offers multiple panel options, including front- and back-contact panels, all of which are responsibly and rigorously quality tested to provide the best energy solution for your home.

Solar power customers are forward thinkers. They understand the comprehensive benefits of solar + storage solutions for themselves and their communities. And they know they have a powerful voice in expanding the freedom and independence of renewable energy.

This is especially important as solar policy is addressed - and in some cases challenged - in policy forums across America. For example, in California right now, the Legislature is considering a bill that would dramatically reduce the electricity bill-savings benefits of solar energy. While solar companies, including SunPower, have experts who educate policymakers around the country with industry information and analysis, it’s our everyday customers who are best to tell their solar story. Whether their solar power is providing much needed savings, reliability and certainty, or it’s providing a meaningful job in the solar industry, speaking up and having their voices be heard is critical.

There have been key examples in solar power’s history where customers spoke up in support of policies or changes where policymakers heard their call to action. These policies have significantly helped to spur the growth of solar energy – from the solar investment tax credit (ITC) and renewable portfolio standards (RPS) to net energy metering (NEM) policies. These same issues have continual ongoing reviews and assessments in place, so the advocacy job is never done.

With effective solar + storage policies in place and obstacles removed, there are incredible opportunities ahead to continue building a clean energy future. Solar United Neighbors, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and the Initiative for Energy Justice estimate that 30 million solar homes can be served by rooftop and community solar in five years. That is equal to providing solar access to 1 in 4 American households. 

Solar advocacy opportunities

There are many ways for solar customer advocates to learn more, share their views and have their voice be heard. No action is too small.

  • Take action! When you receive an alert from SunPower or a solar advocacy organization, please call, email and send photos or a video to decision-makers – whether they are at the local, state or federal level - and voice your opinion.

California residents, the time is NOW! Join SunPower in telling your Assembly member to oppose utility efforts to gut net energy metering! 

  • Become a member of the Solar Rights Alliance and Solar United Neighbors, independent non-profit organizations representing solar energy customers in California and nationally.

  • Write a letter-to-the-editor to your local media outlet.

  • Attend pro-solar events or hearings (while taking relevant COVID-19 precautions).

  • Utilize social media to make your opinion heard.

All actions move us towards progress and solar customers can be proud of examples across America where they’ve had a positive impact. Over time and working in conjunction with the solar industry and non-profit organizations, solar customers have pulled together all over the country to create meaningful change. Recent successes include defending net energy metering in Florida, supporting solar requirements for new homes in Colorado, and passing clean energy legislation in Virginia.

Every day, solar policies are being debated at the local, state and federal levels. There’s no time like the present to get engaged. Actions today will help to shape the ever-growing solar industry for future generations of customers to come.