While millions of Americans can more easily, safely and affordably access renewable sustainable energy today because of our collaborative successes over the last three decades, the current environment in which we operate elevates the need for IREC’s continued leadership. Our unique, critically important work must continue – in your state and mine and across the U.S. And to meet these amplified challenges head on, we need your help more than ever.
IREC is an independent, non-governmental, non-lobbying organization. That said, it would be sticking our heads in the sand if we did not acknowledge the proverbial elephant (and donkey) in the room. The environment in which we operate has now changed with a new administration coming to power in Washington, DC.
From code officials to realtors, insurers to the fire service, there are a number of industries that impact the solar transaction, and the ‘soft’ (non-hardware) costs of going solar. IREC leads national and state efforts to streamline the permitting process to help address these costs, while simultaneously recognizing that it takes a well-trained workforce to support these initiatives.
At Solar Power International last month, with more than 17,000 attendees, I wrote that IREC is proud of our broad, active involvement, and the presence we had onsite for our new consumer protection initiatives. In an interview with Solar Power World, I shared the importance of our latest work to get tools that educate and empower into the hands of energy consumers.
Solar Power International is always a great gathering of industry leaders and newcomers, improvements on trusted products alongside the latest technology, and the most current information about solar market trends and challenges. Once again, IREC is a proud SPI Partner Organization, bringing SPI attendees the expertise they have come to expect at the IREC 3iForum – Information, Innovation and Inspiration.
“We’d like solar professionals to put our consumer checklist directly into consumers’ hands, make it part of their marketing and sales efforts,” said IREC President/CEO Larry Sherwood at Solar Power International 2016. Three IREC consumer resources include the #BeSolarSmart checklist, Clean Energy Consumer Bill of Rights and online resources list.
The comprehensive Rule 21 Order adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) provides numerous innovations to mitigate costs associated with connecting clean energy to the grid, facilitates a clear process for interconnecting energy storage systems, and enables implementation of smart inverter functionality.
After 22 years as the head of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, I am stepping down as the organization’s president and CEO. It’s a bittersweet decision. This is not a retirement announcement; just a change I make with confidence and emotion.
IREC is involved in over a dozen simultaneous regulatory proceedings across the country at any given moment. Yet, rare it is when three state regulatory milestones occur within the same week. In an unexpected occurrence of regulatory synchronicity, the commissions of California, South Carolina and Maryland all hit the streets in the same week with some pretty big (and long-awaited) steps forward for consumer oriented clean energy. What’s more, IREC was thrilled to see clearly reflected in all of them the adoption of several IREC recommendations, all of which make it easier and more affordable for more consumers to access and benefit from clean energy.