BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Oct. 16, 2014) — GASP launched Solar Works today, a campaign designed to educate and raise awareness about the benefits of solar energy in Alabama. The Solar Works website explains Alabama’s solar power capacity, jobs potential, incentive programs and direct actions citizens can take.
“GASP strongly believes that harnessing the power of the sun will improve our health, our economy and our environment,” said Executive Director Stacie M. Propst, PhD. “So far, Alabama has missed a huge opportunity, but engaged citizens can change that.”
Last year, the Alabama Public Service Commission approved Alabama Power-proposed measures that discourage customers from generating their own electricity. The rules allow Alabama Power to charge certain customers a monthly $5 contract fee (PAE), as well as an additional $5 per kilowatt produced. In practical terms, a customer who installs a 4 kilowatt solar system on their home will pay $20 per month, plus the $5 monthly contract fee.
These punitive charges impede investment in solar installations. To make matters worse, Alabama Power pays customers only 2.97¢ to 5.10¢ per kWh for electricity sold back to the company. That is less than one-third of the 17¢ that TVA and Georgia Power pay on average.
On the economic front, Alabama currently ranks 42nd in solar job creation, while nearby Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia all rank near the top.
Website visitors can send messages to the Alabama Public Service Commission, state legislators, local newspapers or Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite. These actions allow the public to get engaged in advocating for clean, renewable energy.