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LABOR, BUSINESS, ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS KICK OFF LOCAL CAMPAIGN TO PASS STATEWIDE SOLAR LEGISLATION THIS YEAR

Posted on: May 23, 2012

Adding Thousands of Megawatts of Solar Power Could Create Thousands of New Jobs, Modernize Power in New York, Benefit Consumers

Farmingdale, NY – At a solar jobs fair at Molloy College’s Suffolk campus, leaders from the business community, environmental advocates and the local labor movement called on their elected officials in Albany to pass the Solar Jobs Act and expand of solar power to promote sustainable, clean energy and create thousands of new, sustainable jobs.

“Long Island needs good jobs,” said Jim Castellane, President of the Nassau and Suffolk Building Trades Council. “This bill (A. 9149a – Englebright) would help create thousands of jobs installing solar panels – jobs that can’t leave the area – and make sure they pay good wages.  Thousands of out-of-work New Yorkers are counting on our elected officials to pass this legislation.”

Supported by a growing coalition of labor, business and environmental organizations, the bill would set create a robust solar market, ensuring that 3,000 megawatts of New York State’s power supply would come from solar energy.  This would create thousands of local jobs installing the solar panels and protect the environment.

“Investing in solar power is a no-brainer,” said Sail Van Nostrand, Chairman of the Long Island Solar Energy Industries Association.  “The New York Solar Jobs Act would ensure that our energy dollars are invested in local jobs right here on Long Island.”

Solar energy has bi-partisan support in the Legislature, as well as support from Governor Cuomo, who recently announced the NY-Sun Initiative to double the amount of energy produced by solar panels by 2013 and quadruple it by 2014.

“Solar power is a critical part of our state’s energy future,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment.  “Not only does it provide needed jobs for New Yorkers, but it can help clean up our local air shed by reducing the need to use the antiquated, dirty power plants in New York and Long Island, especially on hot, summer days when energy use is at its peak.”

The new bill compliments Cuomo’s initiatives and provides the Public Service Commission (PSC), utilities and state energy authorities some flexibility to decide how to meet their solar targets and includes a mechanism to protect consumers by ensuring that the annual cost of the program never exceeds 1.5% of electricity sales.

“On Long Island, we here at Local 25 of the IBEW have been doing many different solar installations over the last 5 years.  Job sizes range from simple 10 KW installations to the more complex 32 MW Long Island Solar Farm at Brookhaven National Lab.  We consider it to be a thriving new technology which will bring many new job opportunities to both Nassau and Suffolk Counties,” said IBEW Local 25 Business Manager Kevin Harvey.

“Efforts to grow the solar energy industry promote the triple bottom line of sustainability by reducing air pollution and global warming green house gases, while promoting the growth of profitable companies and creating good quality jobs,” said Neal Lewis, Executive Director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College.

The Solar Jobs Fair included a one-hour job training session for people who want to get a job in the rapidly-growing solar energy field.

“New York’s solar opportunity is real. My own town is proud to be the home of the largest solar installation in the eastern United States – the 32 megawatt array at Brookhaven National Lab. I’ve seen the impact of solar development on jobs and investment in my community, and I know we can do more with strong policy from Albany,” said Councilman Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld, Town of Brookhaven.

Background

The Solar Jobs Act would set a target of 3,000 megawatts of solar power generated in New York by 2021 with an interim target of 670 megawatts by 2015.  2,100 MW of the 3,000 MW by 2021 obligation is on investor-owned utilities (IOUs) with an interim target of 400 MW statewide by 2015. 900 MW of the 3,000 MW by 2021 obligation is on the public authorities (LIPA and NYPA) with an interim target of 270 MW, collectively, by 2015.  The bill would not prescribe a mechanism for how such obligation must be met, and would allow the Public Service Commission and the utilities the flexibility to explore various options. The bill would include a price ceiling of 1.5% of total electricity sales revenues to protect New York energy consumers.  The bill applies labor protection laws, including the prevailing wage law, to the installation of solar panels above a certain size threshold to ensure that New York is expanding solar technology while at the same time creating good, local, family-supporting green jobs.

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    Very professional. Got They helped set up the financing, the permits and gave me the system that I wanted. After all the incentives I paid $16,000, but my bill is still over $100 cheaper than my budget payment. They also follow up with suggestions on how to get the most from your system. Sail’s the best.

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    We are extremely happy with our experience so far with Energy By Choice & Sun Power. From the sales dept. to the installation, everything went very well. Steve, Kelly, Sail & Evelyn as well as the install crew are all very knowledgeable and professional. Thank you for getting us “green” & for enabling us in the near future to tell PSE & G to take their highest energy rates in the country & stick it where the “Sun don’t shine”.

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    I was looking for a company to install solar that operates from integrity and honesty.
    From the day I made my commitment, Energy by Choice took care of me from start to finish. Any questions I had were always promptly answered, before during and after the installation. The best thing about the company is that they keep their word and could be trusted. I was lucky to have found them. I would recommend them to my friends, relatives and colleagues. Thank you Bruce, Sail, Kelly, Stephen, Jorge and Matt for a job well done. I love my solar.

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    Sail thank you so much for addressing my concerns so promptly and so completely. I have to tell you that the more my husband and I deal with your company, the more confident we are that we made the right decision in choosing you as our solar company and look forward to working with you.

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    Helpful, honest; enjoyed the experience of the office personnel, (no pressure) from initial phone inquiry to certificate of completion. Getting better than half the cost returned from the State & Federal Gov. helped even more.
    My spouse, who’s been in construction and more than handy, states that, “I watched the whole installation and even though I had asked a “thousand” questions the crew was more than courteous and professional!” (He even got up on the roof to watch). Only thing left is to reap the rewards of the investment of our home & future. I would recommend Energy By Choice as a preference over the other companies who tried to push & sell their products to us.

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    Great company. Great installation. Exactly as promised. Sail, Steve and their team worked cleanly and efficiently. Would definitely recommend Energy By Choice for all your Solar needs.

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    From Start to Finish and post installation Sail and his staff especially the crew that did the installation were off the charts GREAT!!! If you’re going solar you should for sure give Energy By Choice a chance to meet your needs.

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    Very glad I chose Energy By Choice as the people to install my solar system, every thing went smoothly and thanks to their system 3/4 of my electric for the first year is being supplied by the sun. And their monitoring of the system works like a charm. Would recommend them to anyone!

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    I was particularly impressed by your UNwillingness to fill the roof with as many panels as could fit. Actually, it was not so much your unwillingness, but your reasoning that made the difference: poorly functioning panels reduce the efficiency of the others!

  • Mike Long Beach

    Sail designed and installed the right system for our home. His crew was eager to be part of the amazing ‘revolution’. As I wake each morning and look to the sky I see the world in a new way, a hopeful way. Even on cloudy days we make electricity.

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    From the start your approach was professional, and every step of the way you clearly and accurately represented the parameters of the project. The only surprises that we had were positive ones: the neatness of the work was exceptional and the effect of the solar cells on our electric bill exceeded our expectations.

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