58 Massachusetts Business Owners Show Solar Support in Open Letter

In light of the inaction seen thus far in the debate over solar policy on Beacon Hill, we share with you this letter, signed by over 50 Massachusetts business owners who are also solar system owners and/or stakeholders, sharing their support for solar energy and urging immediate change in legislation. The letter below was sent to the legislative committee responsible for reconciling the state’s net metering policy, as well as to influential members of the Administration.

This letter is proof that solar has worked and continues to work for businesses in the state, and has been a boon for Massachusetts industries big and small. We thank these individuals for coming together and voicing their support to keep solar strong in Massachusetts. We hope our legislators on Beacon Hill hear this call for action, and approach solar legislation with a sense of urgency.

February 17, 2016

Solar Net Metering Conference Committee
State House
Boston, MA 02133

Dear Conference Committee Members,

We represent a fraction of the thousands of business owners in Massachusetts who are directly benefitting from solar energy today.  Ever-increasing electric rates in Massachusetts burden business’ operating costs across the Commonwealth. As small business and property owners, we believe it is essential that we work towards new ways to cut operating costs, and, in so doing, invest more in building our companies and expanding our workforces.

Until recently, one way to achieve these ends was to power our businesses with solar energy.  It’s not only good for our companies – it’s good for the broader economy and for the environment.   However, recent legislative and administration actions – or inactions – have the potential to make that option far less appealing for business.  In fact, many who made solar investments with the promise of state incentives going forward may now be left stranded, unable to realize the return on investment needed to justify their shift to solar energy.

As stewards for our company’s growth and profitability, we weigh our investment in solar energy versus other needs to grow our business. Many commercial and industrial businesses require a minimum 3-year return on investment (maximum 5 year) when deciding among capital investments. Under the state’s previous incentive programs – both net metering regulations and the Solar Carve Out – II (SREC-II) – investing in solar energy typically yielded a break-even return on capital investment of 5 years or less.

As many of you may already know, on Friday, Feb 5th the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) announced that the SREC-II program has been fully subscribed. In short, the Commonwealth is currently left without a viable program for investing in solar energy until the next program is designed and rolled out.

Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) have been a critical component in a solar owner’s return on investment.  Both the SREC-I and SREC-II program have allowed our companies to grow, hire and invest in Massachusetts’ economy. Without appropriate net metering policy and SREC incentives, solar simply isn’t financially feasible for many small and medium business owners. Many business owners like us are interested in investing in an additional solar energy system, but cannot do so in the current environment, full of uncertainty.

While we recognize that net metering policy is your immediate focus, it is now coupled with the SREC-II  program being over-subscribed. These two issues have completely stalled solar investment in Massachusetts.

We urge you to support the following key initiatives to ensure residents, businesses and municipalities may continue to benefit from investing in solar energy in Massachusetts:

  1. Immediately pass net metering legislation that:
    • Lifts the net metering cap to ensure current stalled projects can move forward; and
    • Ensures future customers receive a fair net metering credit for the excess energy they produce.
  2. Act quickly to develop a bridge program between SREC-II and the next phase of the Solar Carve Out program.

Massachusetts is a national leader in solar and clean energy technology, ranking 4th in the nation in terms of cumulative installed solar capacity, which has grown to more than 985 megawatts in 2015. We’re proud to be a part of that growth. The savings realized through our solar energy investment allows us to create jobs within our companies, make critical investments in equipment, technology, property, and attract new talent, right here in Massachusetts.

We ask you to work as quickly possible to pass the legislation needed to keep the solar industry moving forward and benefiting business owners like ourselves.

Thank you for your time and your assistance on this important matter.

Sincerely,

Laury Hammel
President
The Longfellow Clubs
Michael Anthony Moscaritolo
Chief Financial Officer
Windsor Architectural Woodworking
Peter Humphrey
President
Horner Millwork, North Atlantic Corporation
Robert M. Jokela
Asst. Superintendent, Finance & Operations
Fitchburg Public Schools
Joseph J. O’Connor
Vice President
New England Resins & Pigments Co.
Leverett P. Flint
President/CEO
Wilevco, Inc.
Paul D. Engel
President
Quabbin Wire & Cable Co., Inc.
Steve Edmonds
Sales Manager
Northeast Electrical Distributors
Nathan Pedro
Energy Solutions Manager
Northeast Electrical Distributors
Scott Barry
Executive Manager
Long Subaru, Inc.
William LeBlanc
Owner
LeBlanc Enterprises, Inc.
Steven Greenwald
Partner
Greenwald & Greenwald, LLP
Thomas Mahoney
Owner
Mahoney’s Garden Centers
Karl D. Almond
VP, Senior Special Projects Manager
North Atlantic Corporation
Daniel G. Griswold
VP Finance
Quabbin Wire & Cable Co., Inc.
Lindsey Albernaz
Director of Business and Finance
Somerset Public Schools
Blake Welker
Solar Customer Service Manager
Northeast Electrical Distributors
James M. Dion
VP Finance
United Solutions
Valerie Odell
Owner
Northeast Automatic Sprinkler Co., Inc.
Charles D. Whitten
Principal
Juniper Development Group
Mikhail Glazomitsky
Chief Operating Officer
Bright Planet Solar
Aaron Katz
Chief Executive Officer
Bright Planet Solar
Michael Nedeau
President, Owner
Party By Design, Inc.
Frances Andahazy
Chief Executive Officer, Owner
Party By Design, Inc.
Debbie Dodge
President
The Dodge Company
James S. George
President
Infill Development Partners, Inc.
Barry T. Madden
General Manager, Owner
Franklin Ford
Don Cornell
Vice President
Shred King Corp.
Charles Cederberg
President
Larson Tool & Stamping
Kelly Cornell
President
Shred King Corp.
Amy Bresnahan
Manager
Shred King Corp.
Vicky Spillane
Vice President
Shred King Corp.
Edward J. O’Neill III
Vice President
Joseph P. Sullivan & Co., Inc.
Craig Binney
AVP for Finance and Operations
Stonehill College
James P. Chew
President
C&R Tire Co.
Lawrence A. Zonenshine
President
Mansfield Auto Care Inc.
Joseph A. Strazzulla
Owner, President
Main Street Property, Inc.
William P. Deshler Jr.
Chief Operating Officer
GFI Partners
Kristin Bell
Asset Manager
CRE Management
Steven E. Goodman
Founding Partner
GFI Partners
James R. Kelly Jr.
Major Account Executive
Tyco Integrated Security
Susan Kelly
Sales Support Coordinator
Siemens
Edward R. Serpe
Senior VP, Finance & Operations
Alder Foods Inc.
John Majercak
President
Center for EcoTechnology
Michael A. Giombetti
Vice President
Giombetti Electric, Inc.
Donald A. Giombetti
President
Giombetti Electric, Inc.
Douglas Freeman
Managing Member
Southborough Solar, LLC.
Donald Block
President
NorthEast Electrical Distributors
Philip L. Harper Jr.
President
Lumber Street Auto Repair, Inc.
Troy Briggs
Sr. Regional VP
Phoenix Annuities
Louis Franchi
VP Operations
Franchi Management Co. Inc.
Jessica Jones-Hughes
Vice President
Oke USA
Gerald F. McCarthy
Vice President
Cape Ann Seafood Exchange, Inc.
Hunter Emerson
Partner
Equity Industrial Partners Corp.
Larry Spencer
Chief Executive Officer
Cerebral Palsy of Massachusetts, Inc.
James A. Hassan
President
CSH Industries Inc.
Shawn Knightly
Project Manager
CentiMark Corp.
Jonathan Helmuth
Account Manager
Solectria

 

Cc: His Excellency Charles D. Baker

Cc: The Honorable Robert A. DeLeo, Speaker

Cc: The Honorable Stanley C. Rosenberg, Senate President

Cc: Secretary Matthew A. Beaton, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Cc: Commissioner Judith Judson, Department of Energy Resources

 

Blog-CTA