FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                               
November 13, 2013                                                                                    
Contact:  Aaron Marquez, 602.688.2028

Arizona Veteran Testifies to Defend Solar Energy in Arizona

Veteran and Operation Free Member Urges Arizona Corporation Commission to Keep Successful Net Energy Metering Policy 

Phoenix, AZ—Today, the Arizona Corporation Commission heard testimony from local Marine Corps veteran Rome Hall in support of maintaining the current Net Energy Metering policy.  Hall, a member of clean energy campaign Operation Free, urged the Commission to leave the existing policy untouched, rejecting proposed changes that would put Arizona’s energy security at risk.

Since 2010, Net Energy Metering has allowed homeowners and businesses who install solar panels to sell their excess energy back into the grid, providing clean local power to their neighbors. The costs of home solar have dropped nearly forty percent under this policy, and residential installations increased fifty-three percent in the first quarter of 2013 alone, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Proposed changes under review by the Commission would reduce how much these Arizonans are paid for the energy they generate, effectively killing the growth of solar power in the state.

“As an Engineer in the Marine Corps in Iraq, I saw a country crippled by energy poverty and intermittent power, which fed the instability I was there to combat,” said Rome Hall, Marine Corps veteran and Operation Free member. “Here at home we enjoy abundant access to secure, clean, homegrown energy.  In order to maintain that edge-and keep Arizona a leader in energy-we must ensure that we are crafting and supporting policies that make our energy grid more secure and resilient.  Net metering is exactly the type of policy that supports that goal.”

The hearing on Net Energy Metering comes at a critical time for solar customers in Arizona.  Arizona is ranked 2nd in the nation for the amount new solar installed and the industry employs more than 10,000 Arizonans.  The potential for solar in Arizona is almost limitless with sound policy like Net Energy Metering in place.

The Department of Defense is actively pursuing solar energy on its installations in Arizona with over 30MW of solar installed on Luke and Davis Monthan Air Force bases and another 20MW slated for Fort Huachuca in southern Arizona.  Additionally the Arizona National Guard has one of the most advanced programs for distributed generation solar in the country.

Operation Free is a nationwide coalition of veterans and national security experts working to secure America with clean energy.

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