The energy efficiency and distributed energy industries have the capacity to rapidly expand services resulting in increased local investment, business growth, energy resiliency as well as employment opportunities in urban and rural communities across the region. Let’s put people to work. Let’s make home and business investments that reduce expenses for the long-term. Let’s build a strong and resilient electric grid that weathers future crises. Let’s invest our energy dollars locally. Let’s build an energy economy that best serves people and the places we live and love. Now is the time. To do this, state, local, and utility leadership across the Midwest must expand programs and advance policies that provide business opportunity and create market stability.
We believe that we need swift and strategic state and local investment in clean energy and grid modernization.
We need well-designed energy laws that increase investments in local clean energy. Solar energy, energy efficiency, and grid modernization are a feasible and cost-effective way to improve reliability and increase the economic development benefits of energy investments. Community participation in the decision-making processes will help ensure widespread ownership as investors and beneficiaries of local energy projects.
We believe that our efforts must provide real and durable solutions that help resolve social and economic inequity.
Clean energy work must prioritize opportunity, investment, and jobs for communities most in need. A local, clean energy response represents a clear opportunity to create a system that benefits everyone.
We believe that the clean energy industry has the capacity to create significant local employment opportunities that contribute to a prosperous economy.
Energy efficiency and distributed energy technologies are market-ready, cost-effective, affordable, and scalable in all market sectors. The transition to a clean and distributed energy system must prioritize transitioning energy jobs and developing new employment opportunities.
We believe in working together to educate and engage the public, focusing on local and state actions to create the energy economy of the future.
We believe that by working together, engaging the public with meaningful educational resources, avoiding partisanship, and focusing on local and state actions we can create market conditions that rapidly grow efficiency and distributed energy investments, create widespread employment opportunities, provide long-term utility rate-payer savings, reduce home and business energy expenses, and improve grid resiliency.
We believe in the people of the Midwest and the places we live in and love.
Rise Up Midwest!
BELIEFS IN ACTION
Expand Access to Energy Efficiency and Distributed Energy for Households and Small Businesses:
This includes highlighting the best community solar program in the nation and recent expansion of the MN Solar Rewards program, celebrating the Iowa Solar Net Metering Legislation, promoting utility on-bill financing program with PAYS while recognizing successes in Missouri and Kanas, advancing third-party financing for solar, promoting the expansion of non-profit green banks like Michigan Saves, and advocating for the expansion of the Wisconsin Focus on Energy Program.
Reducing Barriers for Local Energy Efficiency and Solar Energy Development:
This includes highlighting city actions such as the St. Louis Building Performance Standard, facilitating jurisdiction SolSmart designations, advancing consumer education with solar group purchase programs, supporting distribution system planning by highlighting opportunities and success in Midwest states, and promoting public-private financing partnerships such as the PACE Wisconsin program.
Support Workforce Development Efforts that Expand Employment Access in Advanced Energy:
This includes managing a regional solar job resource center, leading a regional solar workforce partnership, providing solar training scholarships in partnership with community organizations serving Midwest communities in need, and promoting policies and programs that advance solar workforce development including the Illinois Solar for All Program and the Minnesota Department of Corrections solar training efforts.
Provide Appropriate, Long-Term Compensation for Solar and Wind Energy:
This includes supporting distributed generation valuation studies like the MN value of solar methodology and tariff, applauding utility programs such as the PV Demand Credit in MN, promoting participation of customer-owned distributed generation in regional wholesale markets, and recognizing state commission actions that facilitate fair and competitive markets such as the long-term PURPA contracts for wind and solar facilities in Michigan.
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The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) is a non-profit organization with the mission to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration.