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New York Hearts Solar

New York stands at an energy crossroads: the state can continue its business as usual approach to energy or build a safer, healthier local economy by passing the NY Solar Jobs Act.  And there’s no question that New Yorkers support the latter . . .

Today we released results of a bi-partisan poll showing that an overwhelming majority of New York voters – of all political parties, from all regions of the state, and across all kinds of different demographics – support proposals to increase the use of local solar power. In fact, fully 81% of New York voters support the New York Solar Jobs Act. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a SUPER majority!

The rest of the poll findings only further show just how much New Yorkers think more solar is the way to go:

  • 89% support increasing the use of solar energy to meet New York power needs.
  • 85% are even willing to pay a little more for electricity in order to ensure that more New York power is produced by the solar industry. A majority is even willing to pay more than a dollar each month. For the record, the Act includes a mechanism to protect consumers by ensuring that the annual cost of the program never exceeds 1.5% of electricity sales – put the poll results show that voters are willing to put their money where their mouths are.
  • 70% say they would be more likely to re-elect their legislator if he or she supports the New York Solar Jobs Act.

So Albany had best get that bill across the finish line before the session ends next month!

The New York Solar Jobs Act would create a robust solar market, ensuring that 3,000 megawatts of New York State’s power supply would come from solar energy by 2021.  By comparison, the state currently has about 100 megawatts installed. (New Jersey is already up to 650 megawatts, but who’s counting). The NY Solar Jobs Act would truly up the state’s solar ante – and in doing so would create thousands of local jobs and protect the environment.

The bill has passed the Assembly Energy Committee and on the Senate side, Sen. George Maziarz, Chair of the Energy Committee, has expressed support for expanding the use of solar energy.  Governor Cuomo recently announced the NY-Sun plan (which the poll also shows has significant support) to double the amount of energy produced by solar panels by 2013 and quadruple it by 2014. The New York Solar Jobs Act compliments Cuomo’s initiatives and simply takes it farther.  And that’s where New Yorkers think the state show go.

Check out the full memo from FM3 and Public Opinion Strategies detailing the results of the survey here.

And if you live in New York, be sure to speak up in support of the Solar Jobs Act here.