Editorials that have been published on the benefits of solar to the Latino community
Hi! I just wanted to share recent editorials that have been published on the benefits of solar to the Latino community. The first op-ed was published today by the President of the Hispanic Chambers of Commerce of San Francisco: http://cleantechnica.com/2015/12/14/going-solar-saves-money-for-latino-small-businesses-and-homeowners/. Another pro-solar op-ed came out in Nevada last week discussing the importance of solar to the Latino community - http://lasvegassun.com/news/2015/dec/09/solar-jobs-benefit-nevadas-hispanics/. Lastly, in October, the President of the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce published an op-ed as well - http://www.labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/nov/09/rooftop-solars-sizzle-just-getting-started/.
Going Solar Saves Money for Latino Small Businesses and Homeowners
December 14th, 2015 by Guest Contributor
By Carlos Solórzano, CEO, Hispanic Chambers of Commerce of San Francisco
The Hispanic Chambers of Commerce of San Francisco unites four smaller ethnic chambers and businesses across the Bay Area in business and procurement opportunities. We represent a broad range of businesses throughout the city and the Bay Area, and we are the Latino voice of our small business community.
As we increase our small business creation, we also increase home ownership. As homeowners, our members are always looking for ways to cut costs and save money. That is the reason I personally decided to add rooftop solar for my own home. We see the benefits of saving and we also see rooftop solar energy as an opportunity to save money and grow their business.
Our utility costs tend to rise every year, but with rooftop solar, it allows lower and more predictable rates. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the average household spends $1,322/year on energy bills. With so many solar financing options available, a homeowner can save on his or her energy bill and put hard-earned money where it’s needed most–– savings funds and retirement.
It is not easy running a business in today’s economy, especially when faced with high energy costs. These types of savings can go a long way. As a small business owner myself, I appreciate any opportunity I can get to cut costs and have more control over every item in my budget.
Our members want to take advantage of rooftop solar, and we are excited about the potential of partnership with the industry, and procurement opportunities for our members. This is why we support net metering and believe it is essential that the California Public Utilities Commission preserve this policy in our state.
Net metering is a state policy that allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the energy grid. The goal of net metering is to provide fair bill credit to the customer who is contributing to the electric supply and drive private investment.
In California, net metering has supported more than $10 billion in private investment and helped create over 50,000 jobs across the state. Being on the cutting edge of the rooftop solar movement has only helped our state thrive and makes it a better place to do business.
Net metering and rooftop solar stand to be a boon for the Latino businesses and community. Our families can benefit from the 10–20% average savings on their monthly utility bills. We also will benefit from having cleaner energy sources power our community instead of the dirtier power sources that have had a number of health costs for our families.
It is too often that the Latino community is left out of conversations like this or only learns once it is too late. This is why we are speaking out and asking the California Public Utilities Commission to protect rooftop solar and help us bring this benefit to Latino homeowners and small businesses.
As the California Public Utilities Commission meets to determine the future of net metering and rooftop solar in our state, we hope they take into account the potential savings and business opportunities for Latino small businesses and homeowners.
About the Author: Carlos E. Solórzano-Cuadra is the founder of Multi Vision Latina, (MVL) a leading International Multi Services, Corporate Matching, and Business consulting and Public Relations agency, established in the US in 2007. Although new as Multi Vision Latina, (MVL), his principal and affiliates have over fifty years’ experience serving small businesses, corporations, and working with affiliates agencies in the US, and Latin America.
Carlos is also the CEO of the Hispanic Chambers of Commerce of San Francisco. He has strong background as a chamber and business executive with over 20 years of experience. He has served in the Solano Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as board member and president, as well as Executive Director of the Nicaraguan-American, the Latin American and Caribbean, and the San Francisco Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He also served as a director of the California HCC, representing the Northern Region chamber at state level.
Solar jobs benefit Nevada’s Hispanics
December 9, 2015
By Isaac Barron
The Hispanic community in Nevada is looking for solutions — solutions that put people back to work, lower living costs and improve our quality of life. Rooftop solar offers those solutions. Giving Nevadans the choice to generate their own clean solar energy saves families money and creates good jobs.
The Public Utilities Commission has until the end of the year to set longterm rules for Nevada solar. As our families struggle to make ends meet, the last thing we need are regulations that hurt our pocketbooks and wipe out a local jobcreating industry. Hispanics constitute nearly 28 percent of Nevada’s population but earn, on average, 33 percent less than the state’s median household income.
Here in Nevada, rising utility costs are comparable to the amount of a second mortgage — and that hits our community especially hard. Rooftop solar provides homeowners with a way to make their utility bills lower and more predictable, allowing families to use those savings for necessities such as health care, food and education. Furthermore, rooftop solar helps keep electricity costs low for everyone — solar customers and nonsolar customers alike — by reducing demand on the grid and helping NV Energy avoid the costs of building expensive power plants and transmission lines.
And as the solar industry is saving our families money, it’s also creating wellpaying local jobs. The Silver State is battling high unemployment — it has the thirdhighest unemployment rate in the country — and our unemployment rate is 10.8 percent for Hispanics. As our families seek good jobs, our solar industry is a bright spot: the solar industry has created more than 6,000 Nevada jobs, making Nevada first in the nation for solar jobs per capita. The solar industry is hiring Hispanics at a higher rate than the traditional energy and construction industries. And across Nevada, solar jobs grew by 146 percent last year — more than 53 times faster than the state’s average employment rate during the same year. Our solar industry has tremendous potential to
create even more good jobs if the Public Utilities Commission adopts rules that give full value to our clean, homegrown solar resource.
I am proud to stand up for solar because solar makes our community, and our state, stronger. Let’s make sure solar continues to be an option for everyone, not just a lucky few. I hope the Public Utilities Commission will do the right thing for Nevada by setting longterm rules that support solar, our 6,000 solar jobs and Nevadans’ right to generate clean energy on their own property.
Isaac Barron is a North Las Vegas city councilman
Rooftop Solar’s Sizzle Just Getting Started
November 9, 2015
By Theresa Martinez
The Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce represents hundreds of Hispanic-owned businesses across Los Angeles. Our chamber focuses on helping businesses find procurement opportunities, network and have a voice in our community. As small-business owners, our chamber and its members seek out opportunities to cut costs, save money and have control over every item in our budgets.
Money saved allows us to reinvest and grow our business. It is not easy running a business in today’s economy, especially when faced with high energy costs. As a former small-business owner myself, I appreciate any opportunity I can get to cut costs and have more control over every item in my budget.
This is why so many of our chamber’s members want to take advantage of rooftop solar. Rooftop solar provides the chance for small and medium-size businesses to generate their own power, save money on rates and promote clean energy in our local communities. It also provides a lower-cost energy alternative with predictable rates, instead of the price fluctuations we too often see in our community.
Our chamber membership wants to be a part of any conversation to save money, but, more so, as Latinos, we need to be a part of the clean-energy conversation. For too long, our community has been left out of this conversation. Our families and businesses have suffered as a result of living and working in areas with higher rates of pollution in our air and water. This has created an added cost on our community.
Rooftop solar provides a cleaner alternative for our community, which can help our businesses save money and employ our community.
The industry has already created 54,000 jobs across the state and you can see the growth of solar in our businesses, homes, schools and churches. These are jobs that cannot be outsourced because they are local where installations occur. This has created opportunities for Latino workers, who represent one in five of the state’s solar workforce.
We can’t stop now. Rooftop solar is only just beginning to become accessible to small- and medium-size business owners. If we roll back net metering – which is the program that enables consumers to go solar – then we will be hindering thousands of small businesses from choosing to go solar.
Net energy metering is a program that fairly compensates solar consumers for any excess electricity they export to the grid. In California, net metering has supported more than $10 billion in private investment. Being on the cutting edge of the rooftop solar movement has only helped our state thrive and makes it a better place to do business.
The California Public Utilities Commission is meeting to determine the future of rooftop solar in our state. It will be deciding whether we keep growing solar jobs and how accessible clean energy will be for our state’s small-business owners.
We hope the commission considers the potential rooftop solar has for saving small businesses money on our bills and preserves pro-consumer, pro-business policies like net metering.
Theresa Martinez is chief executive of the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce and is also founder of the National Latina Business Women Association.