Target: Constance H Lau, Chief Executive Officer of Hawaiian Electric Company
Goal: Stop utility companies from blocking homeowners who want to use solar panel electricity
A 54-year-old cancer patient living in Oahu, Hawaii and her family developed plans and secured a loan to power their home’s electricity with solar panels. The solar panels would have saved the family hundreds of dollars every month, considering that the average electrical bill in the area is over $500 per month. Nearly one in 10 households in Oahu is powered by solar energy.
But before Cynthia Cantero’s contractors began work, the Hawaiian Electric Company refused to approve her system. The company stated that homemade solar power had saturated the grid and posed reliability and safety concerns. However, no safety or reliability studies have since been conducted.
“I thought I was doing the right thing for my family and the environment, and so I could know my children would be taken care of after I’m gone,” Cantero told the Sierra Club. “Here I am stuck in a nightmare, where a powerful utility can just change the rules while I lose everything.”
All across the country, utility companies are challenging the laws that have paved the way for the solar power revolution. When eco-friendly solar alternatives compete with utility power, huge centralized power plants lose profits. Sign the below petition to urge local utility companies to embrace the power of the environment and stop fighting the potential of solar power.
Dear Ms. Lau,
Large centralized power plants bring in big business and huge profits, but oftentimes at the expense of the environment. Electricity rates in Hawaii are nearly three times the national U.S. average, and at least 1-in-10 households in Oahu are powered by solar panels. However, utility companies are beginning to fear losing profits and are attempting to blot out the solar revolution.
If there truly are substantial reliability and safety risks associated with the installation of additional solar panels in Oahu, then conduct the necessary investigations and publicly share the relevant research. Ever since Edison Electric released its report about the potential of the solar electricity industry, investor-owned utilities have viewed the growth of solar rooftop installations and other forms of homemade electricity as a cost-disruptive threat.
I am urging you to work with experts in the field of solar electricity to devise a plan for utility energy providers and solar energy innovators to work together. You can not stop the progression of modern, environmentally sustainable energy, but you can work along side it for the people of your state.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: spanginator via Flickr