Vote Solar 2013 annual report

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Information about Vote Solar 2013 annual report
News & Politics

Published on February 14, 2014

Author: VoteSolar



Vote Solar 2013 Annual Report: Vote Solar is a non-profit organization working to bring solar energy into the mainstream across the U.S.

Vote Solar 2013 Annual Report Contents Letter from the E.D.. . . . . 2 Policy Objectives . . . . . . 3 How We Work . . . . . . . . .4 2013 Highlights . . . . . . . .5 Our Team . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Funding Sources . . . . . . 10 Get Involved . . . . . . . . . 10 Vote Solar is a non-profit grassroots organization working to foster economic opportunity, promote energy independence and fight climate change by making solar a mainstream energy resource across the United States.

FriendsWe have a lot to celebrate. 2013 was a tremendous year--one that will go down in the history books as an inflection point for solar. Letter from the Executive Director, Adam Browning Consider: in one year, several states effectively transitioned -- as planned -- off of incentives to thriving solar markets that are at retail grid parity. When is the last time you’ve heard an industry cheer the end of incentives? In California, more rooftop solar was installed in 2013 than in the previous 30 years combined and the state is on track to be at least 10% solar, on an energy basis, by 2020. For the first time in 15 years, the US is likely to install more solar than Germany, with an expected 27% increase to 4.3 GW. Wholesale utility solar is, in many places, cheaper than building new coal or nuclear plants, allowing utilities to go big on renewables without breaking the bank. One utility, Palo Alto Municipal, is on track to be 18% solar. And it’s not just the usual suspects: states like Georgia and Minnesota launched big solar programs in 2013. Energy policy doesn’t make itself: we are proud of the role we’ve played in all this success. Vote Solar has 13 staff, working every day (and too many nights), on our goal of bringing solar into the mainstream. In 2013, we intervened in 28 dockets to improve solar regulations in 13 states; ran high profile public campaigns in six states to secure important solar wins; rallied citizens to submit over 76,000 messages to key local decisionmakers in support of pro-solar policies; hired new staff in Boston to ramp our work on the East Coast; helped deliver three innovative new shared solar programs; launched a new campaign to reduce permitting soft costs; brought on GroupEnergy to reduce customer acquisition cost by organizing group solar purchases; and went big prepping the future for renewable grid-integration, working on electric vehicles, storage, and energy imbalance markets. It was a busy year for us, and – not coincidentally - a busy year for our opponents. It’s worth noting: despite the all the attacks on solar in 2013 -both wholesale and distributed -- the good guys remain undefeated. But the challenges ahead loom large: in 2014, we expect a redoubling of efforts to roll-back progress, backed by the deep pockets of the Edison Electric Institute and the American Legislative Exchange Council, amongst others. To take them on, we have a plan to double in size over the next 3 years. Our theory of change remains the same. We’ll use our tried-andtrue combination of technical expertise and grassroots organizing to focus on reducing solar costs and increasing solar access. Finally, we’d like to express our continued gratitude for the collaboration and camaraderie of our funders, partners, and friends along the way. The task we (and that’s the collective ‘we’) have taken on is a big one -essentially, create a new industry to fundamentally change how the world is powered. But given the stakes, there’s nothing else we’d rather be doing. Onwards.   2

2 1 Priority Issues: Renewable Portfolio Standards & utility procurement Net energy metering Electricity rate design Interconnection standards Local permitting Shared solar programs Grid integration Group solar purchasing PACE & other financing solutions 3 Solar generation accounts for one percent of our national energy mix, largely because cost and regulatory barriers stand in the way. Vote Solar works to overcome those hurdles for both distributed and large-scale solar power. Each market type has its own advantages and specific policy needs. Distributed rooftop systems located at or near where electricity is consumed don’t require utilities to invest in expensive new transmission infrastructure. And they can be used by individuals, businesses and others to reduce their power bills and their carbon footprints in one fell swoop. With good grid planning and operation, large-scale solar presents an exciting opportunity to bring solar into our energy mix at entirely new economies of scale. We believe that this country needs both in order to successfully address the very real energy and climate challenges we face. Vote Solar focuses on policies and programs that make solar of all kinds more accessible and more affordable to more Americans. We aim to solve this equation: cost + access = scale.

How We Work We work with policymakers: Policy leaders across the country are showing unprecedented support for cleaner, cost effective energy. But solar policy is complex and changing all the time. We help regulators and legislators understand their policy options, quantify the costs and benefits, draft legislation, and implement the programs that are going to most effectively support a solar market that benefits individuals, businesses, and communities alike. We work with other advocates: We aim to transform one of this country’s most powerful industries, and we can’t do it alone. We make the most of our own limited resources and those of our skilled advocacy peers by collaborating wherever possible. Whether it’s sharing our deep policy design expertise or highlighting best practices from the successful efforts of others, we provide the tools, guidance and support needed to help others make a difference in their own communities and nationwide. We work with people: We are a grassroots organization with approximately 60,000 members in all 50 states. Our social media channels reach 26,000 fans and followers. We help our members and others stay informed about the latest in solar policy through emails, blog posts, social media, webinars and strategic press outreach. When it’s time to take action, we mobilize our supporters and give them the easy tools they need to make their voices heard to policymakers. 4 We commit for the long-term: Each solar law and program successfully enacted requires sustained attention to make sure it is implemented correctly, operating effectively, protected from opposing interests, and amended when necessary. We stay the course and maintain watchdog vigilance to make sure positive progress is made.

3 2 1 Campaign Highlights 2013: Net Metering and Rate Design:  It’s  an  exciting  time  in  the   electricity  marketplace.  Affordable   solar  is  offering  American  homes,   schools  and  businesses  a   viable  alternative  to  utility  power  —   and  consumers  are  choosing  solar  in   record  numbers.  For  the  first  time  in   a  century,  customer  demand  is   driving  real  competition  in  the  power   sector  and  challenging  the  old   centralized  utility  business  model.   Rather  than  innovating  to  serve  the   needs  of  today’s  market,  many   utilities  are  choosing  to  dig  in  and   regulate  against  rooftop  solar.  In   2013,  we  counted  more  than  a  dozen   states  that  considered  utility-­‐driven   changes  to  their  net  metering   programs  and  rate  design  with  the   end  goal  of  making  solar  inaccessible   to  their  customers.   Vote  Solar  launched  a  new  home  on   the  Internet  to  help  our  coalition   combat  this  onslaught  of  anti-­‐net   metering  attacks.   features  fact  sheets  and  other   general  resources,  updates  on   the  most  critical  fights  from  around   the  country,  and  a  neat  animation  to   help  explain  it  all.     In  addition  to  national  coordination,   we  also  led  and  supported  m any  of   the  ground  fights  in  states  across  the   country.     With  grassroots,  press  and  policy   support  from  Vote  Solar,  California   passed  A B  327,  a  utility  rate  reform   bill  that  creates  m ore  certainty  for   consumers  who  want  to  go  solar  with   a  number  of  important  provisions  for   net  metering.     California’s  net  metering  program  is   currently  rather  arbitrarily  capped  at   5  percent  of  utilities’  peak  load  –   beyond  which  the  utilities  are  no   longer  required  to  provide  net   metering  credit  for  that  valuable   5 clean  energy  being  generated  by  new   solar  customers.  Before  the  bill  was   signed,  the  state  regulators  at  the  CPUC   were  considering  suspending  the   program  as  soon  as  the  end  of  2014.     AB  327  ensures  that  California’s  net   metering  program  will  stay  in  place  until   customers  of  the  three  large  utilities  hit   the  existing  5  percent  program  cap,   likely  around  2016  or  2017.  This  bill  also   directs  the  CPUC  to  ensure  that  after  the   existing  5  percent  program  cap  has  been   met,  rooftop  solar  customers  will   continue  to  receive  some  form  of  fair   credit  on  their  utility  bills  for  the  clean   energy  they  send  back  to  the  grid  with   no  future  cap.  If  the  CPUC  designs  a   post-­‐5  percent  program  that  continues   to  compensate  solar  customers  fairly  for   the  valuable  power  they’re  delivering  to   the  grid,  we’ll  keep  seeing  steady  growth   in  rooftop  solar  throughout  the  state,   generating  jobs  and  clean  air  benefits  for   all  Californians.  Also  exciting,  the  bill   allows  the  CPUC  to  require  the  big   utilities  to  go  beyond  our  current   Renewables  Portfolio  Standard,  the   statewide  target  of  getting  33%  of  our   utility  power  from  renewable  energy  by   2020.  This  bill  makes  33%  renewables  a   floor  and  not  a  ceiling,  which  is  a  huge   step  in  fighting  climate  change  and   protecting  public  health.   In  a  victory  of  David  vs  Goliath   proportions,  policymakers  in  Arizona   stood  up  for  their  citizens  by  rejecting  an   attempt  from  the  state’s  largest  utility  to   squash  rooftop  solar.  APS  had  proposed   a  new  $50-­‐100  monthly  charge  for  solar   customers,  a  discriminatory  fee  that   would  have  wiped  out  any  savings  these   customers  would  currently  receive  from   their  solar  investment.  The  utility  and  its   allies  spent  m illions  of  dollars  in  anti-­‐ solar  advertising  to  try  to  sway  popular   opinion.  Vote  Solar  intervened  in  the   proceeding  to  question  the  utility  math   and  helped  engage  grassroots  solar   supporters.  Five  months  after  Arizona   Public  Service  (APS)  sought  approval  for   this  hefty  new  fee,  the  Arizona   Corporation  Commission  (ACC)  voted  to   uphold  Arizona  solar  savings  by   approving  significantly  reduced  fixed   charge  of  70  cents  per  kw.  While  the   vote  was  clearly  a  win  for  Arizonans,  the   ACC’s  approval  of  a  small  but  troubling   new  fee  m akes  it  clear  that  there  is  a   significant  amount  of  education  left  to   be  done  regarding  distributed  solar’s   tremendous  value.   Just  in  time  for  Independence  Day,   rooftop  solar  rights  scored  another  win.   This  one  from  Idaho  where  the  state’s   major  utility,  Idaho  Power  Company   (IPCo)  had  set  out  to  cap  its  net   metering  program  and  otherwise   penalize  solar  customers  by  changing   their  rates  and  implementing  new  fees.   Vote  Solar  participated  in  the  case  on   behalf  of  the  City  of  Boise,  which  was   rightly  concerned  that  the  IPCo’s   proposals  would  discourage  not  only  the   installation  of  solar  resources  but  also   new  clean  energy  businesses  from   coming  to  Idaho,  resulting  in  job  and   economic  losses.  On  July  3rd,  the   Commission  stood  strong  for  Idaho’s   rooftop  solar  customers  by  rejecting  all   of  IPCo’s  egregious  proposals.     In  Colorado,  the  state’s  major  utility   Xcel  Energy  also  took  aim  at  rooftop   solar,  using  flawed  math  to  weaken  the   state’s  popular  net  metering  program.     Vote  Solar  fought  back  on    two  fronts   with  both  regulatory  and  public   campaigns.  Our  public  efforts   culminated  in  a  rally  at  Xcel   headquarters  to  show  that  the  utility’s   own  customers  oppose  the  proposal.   Nearly  300  Coloradans  and    a  slew  of   press  converged  in  Denver  that  day  to   stand  up  for  solar  rights.  The  energetic   crowd  braved  wintery  temperatures  to   deliver  nearly  30,000  petition  signatures   from  Coloradans  urging  Xcel  to   withdraw  its  unfair  proposal  and  keep  

3 1 2 Colorado  solar  shining.  It  was  an   impressive  display  of  local  support  for   net  metering  and  our  message  was   heard  loud  and  clear,  but  the  fight’s  not   over  yet!  State  regulators  will  make  a   decision  on  the  Xcel  proposal  in  2014.   It  wasn’t  all  defense  against  utilities  on   the  net  metering  front.  In  anticipation  of   an  explosion  of  solar  growth  from   Governor  Cuomo’s  NY-­‐Sun  Initiative,  the   New  York  Public  Service  Commission   raised  the  state’s  net  metering  cap  from   1  to  3  percent.  That  means  that  the   state’s  utilities  are  now  required  to  offer   net  metering  benefits  for  three  times  as   much  clean,  local,  reliable  solar  power   produced  by  their  customers.     GroupEnergy:  Vote  Solar  added  a   new  GroupEnergy  project  focused  on   propelling  solar  adoption  by  helping   existing  groups  –  think  coworkers,  clubs   or  congregations  –  pool  their  collective   purchasing  power  to  go  solar  at  home.   Our  unique  take  on  the  group  purchase   model  helps  build  solar  awareness  and   lower  solar  soft  costs  in  one  fell  swoop.   Looking  back  on  a  busy  2013,  we’re   happy  to  report  that  it  was  a  great  year   for  GroupEnergy.  The  team  was  busy   launching  programs  for  major   employers  including:  the  State  of   Colorado,  the  City  and  County  of   Denver,  the  City  and  County  of  San   Francisco,  Blue  Shield  of  California,   eBay,  Genentech,  Pacific  Gas  &  Electric,   6 and  the  University  of  California  at  San   Francisco.     Approximately  900  kilowatts  of  new   residential  solar  will  be  installed  on   almost  200  homes  as  a  result  of  this   year’s  GroupEnergy  work.  That’s  nearly  a   megawatt!  It  doesn’t  just  sound  cool;   that’s  a  whole  lot  of  new  residential   solar  in  just  a  few  months.  A nd,  because   buying  in  bulk  delivers  greater  scale  and   lower  customer  acquisition  costs  to  solar   providers  –  that’s  also  solar  with  a  low   price  tag.   All  told,  these  programs  helped  m ore   than  2,000  individuals  evaluate  whether   powering  their  homes  with  sunshine   could  be  a  good  fit.  In  our  view,  this   educational  outcome  is  just  as  exciting   as  the  new  solar  itself.  These  are  peers   and  friends  who  are  navigating  the   potentially  daunting  process  of  going   solar  together  –  with  our  expert   guidance.  Whether  or  not  they  end  up   going  solar  now,  program  participants   come  away  armed  with  the  information   they  need  become  solar  educators  and   advocates  in  their  own  right.     Grid Integration: Our  power  grid   is  currently  managed  by  individual   utilities  matching  consumption  and   production  within  their  territory  in  real   time.  W ithout  a  change  of  approach,  this   balancing  act  will  become  increasingly   challenging  as  more  variable  solar  and   wind  is  used  to  power  our  grid.  But   increasing  the  geographic  area  across   which  the  utilities  coordinate  can  help   make  a  renewable-­‐powered  grid  a  cost   effective,  reliable  and  highly  achievable   endeavor.  In  wonk-­‐talk,  that’s  a  regional   energy  imbalance  market  or  EIM,  and  it’s   been  a  focus  of  Vote  Solar’s  grid   integration  advocacy.   The  EIM  will  allow  utilities  across  the   region  to  share  generation  resources   and  significantly  lower  the  cost  of   keeping  the  lights  on  with  significant   new  levels  of  solar  and  wind.  This   cooperative  approach  eliminates  the   need  for  each  utility  to  operate  and   maintain  costly  generation  that  it   doesn’t  need  all  the  time.  It  also  allows   them  to  better  plan  for  and  use  variable   solar  and  wind  generation,  which  m ay  be   lumpy  within  individual  utility  balancing   areas  due  to  local  weather  conditions   and  the  like  –  but  is  smoother  and  more   predictable  when  assessed  across  bigger   geographic  areas.  The  regional  EIM   makes  the  most  efficient  use  of   combined  resources  can  significantly   lower  the  cost  of  integrating  these   renewable  resources  on  the  grid.  It   requires  traditional  energy  players  to   rethink  grid  operation,  but  its  benefits   are  well  worth  the  work.   In  February,  the  CAISO  and  PacifiCorp,   which  serves  1.8  million  customers  in  six   western  states,  announced  they  had   entered  into  a  memorandum  of   understanding  to  develop  a  west-­‐wide   EIM.  Then  in  November,  Nevada’s   biggest  utility  –  NV  Energy  –  indicated  it   would  seek  regulatory  approval  to  join   up  as  well.  NV  Energy’s  decision  adds   much  needed  momentum  to  this   nascent  regional  effort.    A  study  by   PacifiCorp  and  CAISO  showed  millions  of   dollars  in  savings  for  customers  in   California  and  PacifiCorp’s  service  areas,   and  even  more  substantial  savings  and   benefits  can  be  achieved  if  m ore  utilities   join.  The  ultimate  goal  is  to  have  all  of   the  utilities  in  the  Western   Interconnection  —  which  covers  all  or   parts  of  13  states,  two  Canadian   provinces  and  a  small  part  of  the  Baja   California  Peninsula  —  join  the  EIM  and   take  this  low-­‐cost  approach  to  the  grid   integration  challenge.  

3 2 1 Shared Renewables:  Despite  tremendous  growth  in  solar  adoption  nationwide,   the  majority  of  energy  consumers  –  including  renters  –  are  simply  unable  to  invest  in   their  own  on-­‐site  solar  energy  systems.  Shared  solar  arrangements  overcome  that   barrier.  2013  was  a  big  year  for  shared  renewables,  with  the  passage  of  two  major  Vote   Solar-­‐supported  programs  designed  to  unlock  pent  up  demand  for  clean  energy  among   customers  who  are  unable  to  put  solar  on  their  own  property.       California’s  Governor  Brown  signed  Senate  Bill  43,  which  will  requires  the  three  big   utilities  –  PG&E,  SCE,  and  SDG&E–  to  collectively  procure  as  much  as  600MW  of  new   renewable  energy  from  within  their  respective  territories,  and  enable  customers  to  sign   up  to  receive  up  to  100%  of  their  energy  from  these  clean  local  sources.    Backed  by  Vote   Solar  from  the  start,  the  successful  two-­‐year  SB  43  campaign  was  widely  supported  by  business,  military,  and  environmental  justice   groups.   The  DC  Council  unanimously  approved  a  shared  solar  program  this  year  as  well.  It’s  clear  the  District  is  proud  of  this  program  and   sees  it  as  a  m odel  for  others.    Electric  utility  Pepco  worked  diligently  with  stakeholders  to  design  the  program,  likely  in  recognition   that  it  would  help  the  District  meet  its  RPS  targets  by  tapping  an  entirely  new  solar  market  segment.  The  Community  Renewables   Energy  Act  enables  all  DC  energy  customers  to  get  their  power  from  renewable  energy  projects  within  DC,  up  to  5MW  in  size.    The   program  is  uncapped  in  total  capacity,  and  participants  receive  credit  for  their  share  of  the  clean  energy  generation  at  a  pre-­‐set  rate   that  local  developers  say  will  m ake  the  financials  work.   While  the  basic  shared  solar  concept  is  a  no-­‐brainer,  the  policy  details  to  make  it  happen  can  get  pretty  complicated.    We  worked   closely  with  our  partners  at  IREC  to  draft  new  Model  Program  Rules  for  Shared  Renewable  Energy  that  reflect  best  practices  and   lessons  learned  from  the  early  days  of  shared  renewables.  Based  on  real  legislative  and  regulatory  experience,  the  updated  model   rules  serve  as  a  starting  point  for  states,  communities,  and  utilities  interested  in  launching  shared  renewables  programs.  Vote  Solar   also  launched  a  new  website  –  –  to  help  track  policy  and  progress  nationwide.   Market Building:  Capping  over   five  years  of  campaigning  from  Vote   Solar  and  our  stalwart  partners,  New   York  finished  2013  well  on  its  way  to  a   3  GW,  10-­‐year  extension  of  its  landmark   solar  policy:  the  NY-­‐Sun  Initiative.  That   impressive  goal  is  10  times  the  amount   of  solar  PV  currently  installed  in  the   state!   With  strong  leadership  from  Governor   Cuomo,  the  Public  Service  Commission   approved  funding  for  the  incentive   program  through  2015  and  directed   program  administrators  at  NYSERDA  to   submit  a  plan  for  the  program  through   2023.  This  will  provide  invaluable  policy   certainty  for  solar  companies  and   consumers  alike  as  New  York  continues   its  charge  to  solar  scale.     NYSERDA  was  also  authorized  to  make   plans  to  transition  the  incentive   program  into  a  regional  megawatt  block   structure  where  incentive  levels  decline   in  a  predictable  fashion  as  costs  come   down  and  more  solar  is  deployed  across   the  state.  As  we’ve  seen  in  California,   this  kind  of  transparent,  capacity-­‐based   incentive  structure  can  be  an  incredibly   power  tool  for  driving  scale  and   lowering  costs  in  a  way  that’s  both   sustainable  and  cost-­‐  effective.     Taking  the  state’s  clean  energy   commitment  further,  NYSERDA  released   a  bold  vision  to  drive  private  clean   energy  investments  through  Governor   Cuomo’s  $1  billion  Green  Bank.     NYSERDA  also  began  a  comprehensive   review  of  the  state’s  Renewable   Portfolio  Standard  and  Energy  Efficiency   Portfolio  Standard,  which  set  the  stage   for  possible  extension  of  these  programs   beyond  their  current  2015  horizon.     Policy  progress  of  this  scale  doesn’t   come  easily  in  the  solar  world.  New   York’s  2013  outcomes  make  the  five   previous  years  of  policy  analysis,   reports,  grassroots  engagement,  press   outreach,  m eetings,  heartache  and   celebration  well  worth  it!   Up  north,  the  Minnesota  legislature   also  passed  a  substantial  solar  energy   bill  that  will  result  in  hundreds  of   megawatts  of  new  solar  over  the  next  6   years  and  jump-­‐start  a  solar  m arket  in   the  state.  With  strong  local  partners   leading  the  charge  on  the  ground,  Vote   Solar  lent  our  policy  expertise  and   helped  bring  national  attention  to  the   campaign.    

2 1 proud  that  Freeing  the  Grid’s  grading   methodology  was  also  adopted  for  use   in  the  U.S.  Department  of  Energy’s   SunShot  Initiative,  which  aims  to  reduce   the  cost  of  going  solar  by  75%  before   the  end  of  the  decade.     Four  states  achieved  excellence  in  both   net  metering  and  interconnection   policies  this  year:  California,   Massachusetts,  Oregon  and  Utah.  These   states  lead  the  nation  in  allowing   customer  participation  in  the  renewable   energy  market.  Big  congrats  to  them!   Project Permit:  Few  realize  how   much  of  an  impact  local  governments  can   have  on  the  cost  of  going  solar.  But  with   solar  panel  prices  having  dropped  fast  and   far  over  the  past  few  years,  “soft”  costs  like   local  permitting  represent  the  most   significant  opportunity  for  keeping  solar   prices  trending  down.  Today,  more  than   18,000  m unicipalities  each  set  their  own   permitting  requirements  for  residential   solar  energy  systems.  As  a  result,  permitting   requirements  vary  dramatically  city  by  city.   Long  waits,  high  fees,  excessive  inspections,   avoidable  paperwork  and  non-­‐standard   practices  across  different  jurisdictions  can   all  add  unnecessary  costs  to  what  should  be   a  simple,  transparent  process.   To  help  tackle  this  challenge,  Vote  Solar   launched  our  new  Project  Permit,  an   interactive  website  that  scores  local   permitting  practices  to  help  lower  solar   costs  across  the  country.  It’s  designed  to   help  solar  stakeholders,  municipal  officials,   and  people  like  you  understand  how  their   town’s  permitting  practices  stack  up  and   what  can  be  done  to  improve  them.   Freeing the Grid:  Vote  Solar  and  our   friends  at  IREC  released  Freeing  the  Grid,   our  annual  report  card  to  all  50  states  on   net  metering  and  interconnection  –  two   wonky  sounding  policies  that  make  sure   energy  customers  get  fair  and  consistent   treatment  from  their  utilities  when  they   want  to  generate  their  own  power.   We  are  in  the  midst  of  a  transition  to  the   era  of  mainstream  renewables  that  gives   Americans  control  over  their  power   supply  and  energy  bills  like  never  before.   It’s  an  exciting  time;  however,  policy   design  on  the  frontiers  of  our  fast-­‐ changing  clean  energy  marketplace  can   be  a  challenge  to  get  right.  Now  in  its   7th  year,  Freeing  the  Grid  is  designed  to   help  policymakers  and  other   stakeholders  make  better  sense  of  best   practices  and  what  needs  to  be  done  in   their  own  state  to  clear  the  way  for  a   21st  century  approach  to  energy.  We’re   Solar Means Business:  Our   nation’s  businesses  are  harnessing   clean,  reliable,  homegrown  solar  power   at  an  unprecedented  rate  to  take   control  of  their  energy  costs  and   improve  their  bottom  line.  We  just   released  Solar  Means  Business,  an   annual  report  from  Vote  Solar  and  our   partners  at  SEIA  that  identifies  the   companies  that  are  leading  America’s   transition  to  solar  power  –  and  the  list   might  surprise  you!   Mainstream  brands  like  Walmart,   Costco,  Kohl’s,  Apple,  IKEA  and  Macy’s   rank  among  our  nation’s  top  solar   customers.  Most  of  these  companies   are  better  known  for  delivering  low-­‐ costs  and  for  serving  millions  of   Americans  than  for  their  equally   impressive  clean  energy  leadership.   These  companies  –  titans  of  American   business  –  may  have  vastly  different   products  and  services,  but  they  all  have   something  in  common:  they  know  a   good  deal  when  they  see  one,  and  they   are  going  solar  in  a  big  way.     Equinox 2013: Our annual celebration & fundraiser was tiki-tastic!

Vote Solar Staff: Adam Browning, Executive Director: Adam co-founded Vote Solar after working on the successful campaign for San Francisco’s 2001 solar bond. Prior to Vote Solar, Adam spent eight years with the Environmental Protection Agency where he ran an award-winning pollution prevention program. Gwen Rose, Operations Director: Gwen directs Vote Solar’s strategic organizational operations. Her prior work in Marin County’s solar and climate protection programs earned the “Best Progress in the Western Region” Award from the Department of Energy’s Million Solar Roofs Initiative. Annie Lappé, Solar Policy Director: Annie leads state campaigns throughout the West and Midwest. She rejoined Vote Solar after managing government affairs in the Interior West for SunEdison. She was previously with the Alliance to Save Energy. She holds environmental policy degrees from Oxford University and UC Santa Cruz. Rick Gilliam, Director of Research & Analysis: Rick is Vote Solar’s analytical and quantitative powerhouse. He was formerly Vice President of Mountain West Government Affairs for SunEdison and held prior roles at Western Resource Advocates, the Public Service Company of Colorado and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). He lives in Boulder, CO. Jim Baak, Utility-Scale Solar Policy Director: Jim leads Vote Solar’s utility-scale solar program focused on developing the market for centralized solar power plants. Jim joined Vote Solar from Pacific Gas & Electric Co., one of the largest utilities in the U.S. Rosalind Jackson, Director of Communications & Development: Rosalind supports Vote Solar campaigns and organizational growth through media, member and donor relations. Rosalind came to Vote Solar with five years of clean energy public relations experience. She has a degree in Environmental Science and Mass Communications from UC Berkeley. Peter Olmsted, Policy Advocate: Based in Pennsylvania, Peter is responsible for advancing solar policy in the northeast and mid-atlantic region. Peter was previously lead energy policy staff for the Delaware Senate Energy & Transit Committee. He holds a Masters of Energy and Environmental Policy from the University of Delaware. Susannah Churchill, Policy Advocate: Susannah directs Vote Solar’s distributed solar advocacy efforts in California. Prior to joining Vote Solar she was a Senior Regulatory Analyst at the CPUC and an Advisor to a Commissioner at the CEC. She holds a Masters in Public Policy from UC Berkeley. Hannah Masterjohn, Policy Advocate: Hannah leads our work on shared solar business models and east coast states. She previously managed the Solar America Cities program at the Department of Energy. She has degrees in Environmental Policy and Political Economy from UC Santa Barbara and Clark University. Hannah is based in New York. Nathan Phelps, Policy Advocate: Nathan focuses on the regulation of distributed generation. Prior to joining Vote Solar, Nathan was a Senior Economist at the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. Nathan attended Willamette University for undergraduate studies in both environmental science and politics before attending Tufts University for graduate studies in environmental policy. He is based in Boston. Jessie Denver, GroupEnergy Program Director: Jessie previously founded and was CEO of GroupEnergy LLC and also spent 8 years with the City of San Jose, CA as Energy Officer and Solar Program Coordinator. She has degrees in Environment & Community Planning from Antioch University and Environmental Science from Humboldt State University. Jessie is based in Oakland. Kevin Armstrong, GroupEnergy Program Manager: Kevin co-leads Vote Solar’s GroupEnergy program. He previously spent two years with the City of San Jose, and two years with the County of San Mateo, managing municipal renewable energy programs. He has degrees in Civil & Environmental Engineering and City & Regional Planning from UC Berkeley and Stanford University. Kevin is based in Oakland. Ashley Malyszka, Development Associate: Ashley supports Vote Solar’s fundraising efforts and donor relations. Her previous roles include SolarCorps Development Fellow at GRID Alternatives and U.S. Campaigns Associate at She holds a bachelors in Environmental Studies from San Francisco State University.

Vote Solar is a project of the Tides Center, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, and the Tsunami Fund, a 501(c)4 non-profit organization. We are primarily funded through the generosity of grantmaking foundations, with additional support from corporate giving, individual donors and public funds. 2013 Funding Sources 5% 2% 5% Foundations 9% Government & Public Funds Individual Donors Corporate Donors Make a Donation: Vote Solar welcomes credit card donations of all sizes online at: Donations by check can be mailed to us at the address below. 79% 101 Montgomery St, Suite 2600 San Francisco, CA 94104 415.817.5062 Earned Income

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