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  • Action Alert: Stay in Place Resolution Help us by contacting your council members today!

    Ask your Metro Council Members to Vote YES on the "Stay In Place" Resolution RS2020-668

    Click here to contact your Metro Council Member: https://act.sierraclub.org/act...

    RS2020-668 urges the Nashville Electric Service (NES) to create an automatic enrollment program that would round up customers bills to the nearest dollar, raising more than $1.5 million every year for NES's Home Energy Uplift Program, which will be invested in improving the energy efficiency of low income homes, not only allowing those homes to save hundreds of dollars per year on their bills, but also keep hundreds of thousands of tons of greenhouse gases out of our atmosphere. This is the third leg to Nashville's climate response plan, following on Nashville's Renewable Energy Portfolio Ordinance passed last year and updated building energy codes passed this year.

    The average cost of this program to each NES customer would be $6 per year--the benefits to society priceless. Improving the energy efficiency of low income households also improves their indoor air quality, thus reducing public health costs too. 

    Legislation passed by the TN General Assembly gives power companies like NES until the end of 2020 to adopt an automatic enrollment program which is essential to making the program work financially. Eleven power companies in TN have adopted automatic enrollment round up your bill programs, benefitting a variety of community needs. Most notably Memphis Light Gas and Water and the Knoxville Utilities Board have adopted programs that specifically benefit low income energy efficiency programs. In both Memphis and Knoxville, these programs have raised millions of dollars each year to allow those that cannot afford capital investments or qualify for loans to improve their household energy efficiency and improve their indoor air quality.  


    Why is it important that NES adopts an "automatic enrollment" program? 

    Automatic enrollment programs enjoy a 50-85% participation rate. Opt-in only programs only achieve a 1.5-5% participation rate. Of course, automatic enrollment programs allow any customer to opt-out anytime they want to.

    Click the button below to contact your Council Member and urge them to vote YES on the “Stay in Place” Resolution RS2020-668!

  • Please support the Stay in Place Resolution (RS2020-668) for Nashville Metro City Council

    The resolution will come before Nashville's City Council on Dec 1st 2020.

    Q: What is the Stay in Place Resolution (RS2020-668)?

    A: The Stay in Place Resolution (RS2020-668) declares that Metro City Council supports efforts to assist limited-income families with weatherization via a program that would round up NES bills to the next whole dollar amount. Utility customers would  would be notified by NES about its implementation well in advance. Customers would be automatically enrolled in the program. However, NES would make it easy for people to opt-out of the program at any time.  Though  customers in similar Tennessee programs give only pocket change –about 50 cents per month or $6 per year– it adds up to be life-changing for those who receive the help.

     Q: Is this legislation that would be enacted once passed?

    A: No. Only the 5-member Electric Power Board (appointed by the Mayor, confirmed by City Council) and NES Executive leadership have the legal authority to act on such a program. This resolution is a representation of a strong, public suggestion to these authorities to do so for the benefit of Nashville’s affordability, health, economy, and sustainability.

     Q: If NES were to start such a program, where would the money go to exactly?

    A: The money would go to the already existing NES Home Energy Uplift program, which is designed to help homeowners lower their energy burden. Donations from NES customers rounding their bills to the next whole dollar would enable low income customers to make basic efficiency improvements (e.g., fixing broken windows, replacing insulation, or repairing a furnace), allowing them to safely stay in their homes.

     Q: Why should the council support an opt-out program? Wouldn’t it be like a tax?

    A: If the Stay in Place Resolution is enacted by NES, it would be an 100% voluntary program. Sponsoring council members recommend an “opt out” approach out of a desire to provide as much support as possible for lower income households. Similar successful programs have been enacted in Morristown, Tullahoma, Cleveland, Memphis, and Knoxville. Research into energy efficiency programs have indicated higher participation rates - 1-5% for opt-in, compared to 50-80% for opt-out - even after allowing for customers who choose not to participate.

     Q: What are the benefits of weatherization programs, such as the one proposed by the Stay in Place Resolution?

    A: First off, there are public health benefits. Numerous health issues are commonly linked to substandard housing: asthma, lung cancer, depression, anxiety, hypothermia, and skin and eye irritation. There is also increased risk of injury and death from fires and accidents associated with substandard housing. Weatherization improvements could alleviate these health risks.

     With the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, Davidson County residents are spending more time sheltering in place, which makes the need for safe homes even more important. Lower income and communities of color are at higher risk for serious COVID-19 illness and are more likely to live in substandard housing.

     Secondly, weatherization improvements lower energy consumption and increase overall efficiency, leading to saved money. Lower income households benefit, as they are able to redirect their financial resources to food, health care, and more, decreasing the need to make “Heat or eat” decisions.

     Finally, the overall Davidson County community could benefit from such a program - it promotes energy efficiency, creates more local jobs, improves neighborhood housing conditions, and it helps to create an empowered community that is volunteering to help each other.

  • Action Alert: Nashvillians, please contact your Council Reps

    Last week an important bill was introduced in Metro Council that would update our city’s building code, including the energy efficiency code, to 2018 standards. Please consider reaching out to your local council members and at-large council members to voice support for the bill.

    Right now, some of the most important energy efficiency standards in our city (including insulation standards) are more than ten years out of date. We can and must do better as a city if we are going to keep Nashville livable and resilient.

    Having more efficient new buildings doesn’t just make sense from an environmental standpoint, it can also lower energy bills and burdens, and make our buildings more resilient in extreme weather. As the tornado and pandemic has shown, the more we can do to reduce these risks and burdens on our most vulnerable families and communities, the better. This bill is an essential first step.

    Please email your council member(s) to ask them to support BL 2020-458. (see contact info below.). A fact sheet is attached. Some points you may wish to include in your email:

    • Better standards will contribute to addressing climate change and lowering air pollution.
    • Better standards will save energy costs for new single-family homes.
    • Lower-income residents would benefit as they are more vulnerable to increased utility costs resulting from inefficient building standards.
    • The adoption of energy efficient building is a contributor to a city's ability to compete and attract industry.
    • A benefit of the 2018 building standards is a heightened resistance to tornado activity and high winds.
    • The city of Knoxville has recently adopted the 2018 building standards.

    PLEASE CONTACT YOUR COUNCIL MEMBER(S)

    Please contact your individual district Council member and possibly At-Large members.

    ·         Email addresses for individual Council members can be found here: https://www.nashville.gov/Metro-Council/Metro-Council-Members.aspx

    ·         If you don’t know who your district Council member is, you can look it up on this page: https://www.nashville.gov/Metro-Council.aspx (Just plug in your address under “Council District Lookup” on the right side of the page.) 

  • Climate Action Alert: Clean Car Petition
    Interfaith Power and Light

    Our partners at Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light have asked our help on an important Clean Car Petition. Please consider signing and also forwarding.

     Why is this important:

    -- Vehicle emissions are now the number one source of climate changing greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

    -- The big automakers agreed back in 2012 to support efficiency goals that would put them on a good track to reduce emissions significantly by 2025.  

    -- Now, some are continuing to say they will stay on that track (Ford, BMW, Honda, and Volkswagen), but GM, Toyota, and Fiat Chrysler are supporting Trump administration plans to reverse that progress.

    --  People of faith need to let the CEOs of those companies know, given the urgency of the climate crisis, that that backsliding is immoral and unacceptable.

     So, please consider signing the petition. [Note: when you sign the petition, you will then be given an opportunity to donate to the national IPL organization.  That is certainly an option because they do good work, but it is not necessary. You can just x out of that page, if you prefer not to make a donation.]

  • TVA announced that it will retire the Paradise Coal Plant by 2020 and the Bull Run Plant by 2023.
    timesfreepress.com

    We had a good day at TVA Thursday!

    TVA announced that it will retire the Paradise Coal Plant by 2020 and the Bull Run Plant by 2023. We presented at the listening session on Wednesday in support of these closures. We also urged the Board to fulfill their moral obligation to help with a solid economic transition for the two communities affected. The Board made a public commitment to take this obligation seriously.

    TVA also passed policy that will made it much easier for local power companies to develop sources of renewable energy - and which will make it easily for solar companies to provide distributed renewable projects. This is also something we have been promoting for some time. We will continue to monitor the details.

    Thanks to Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign for organizing, and thanks for all who attended the listening session Wednesday and the Board Meeting Thursday. Our efforts can make a difference!

  • CN Meeting Notes Feb 7th 2019

    Metro Council had an opportunity to protect the health and well-being of its most vulnerable families Tuesday night and it failed.  It was considering a resolution to support NES developing a Round-UP program where electric bills would be rounded up to the nearest dollar - and the money would go to weatherize the homes of low-income people. Research shows that such programs greatly improve the health of families - and also prevent their need to choose between "heat or eat."

    The program would cost participating ratepayers less than 2 cents a day - Round-Up would be completely voluntary - and options to opt-out would be well-publicized. Knoxville and Memphis currently have highly successful Round-Up programs.

    After extensive debate the resolution in support of Round-Up was deferred indefinitely. My thanks to the Council members who spoke in favor of the program and to other supporters. We also had around 50 residents who showed up in support of the program.
    Round-Up is still alive - we will continue our campaign - look for updates.

  • CN Meeting Notes Jan 3rd 2019

    Report on December meeting with Mayor Briley and staff:

    On December 13, representatives from Climate Nashville, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light, met with Mayor Briley, his chief of staff Emily Passini and his officer for Transportation and Sustainability Mary Beth Ikard, with two requests: 1) to commit to 100% clean renewable energy to power Metro properties (including transportation) by 2025; and the entire city to run on 100% renewable energy soon after; 2) to form a working group to set concrete measurable steps, and enforce a timeline for implementation.

     Metro Nashville has already powered some fire stations by 2017 with renewable energy through the Dept. of General Services, and more has been done since then. Tennessee Valley Authority has committed to providing Google with renewable energy at its Bridgeport AL location, and its Clarkesville TN location, and there is no reason TVA could not do the same for Metro Nashville.

    On Jan 3rd 2019, members of CN and SACE attended the first reading of Resolution RS2018-1508 to encourage Nashville Electric Service to start a Round-It-Up program.This program will raise money to help low-income households make their homes more energy-efficient by weatherizing their homes and improving their heating/cooling systems, eg by repairing duct-work, insulating, caulking windows, etc.  This would be done through an existing Home Energy Uplift program jointly sponsored by TVA, NES, and Metro Government, that has already helped 77 low-income households in 2018. A further benefit is training of workers and creation of jobs to carry out the improvements. The opt-out program rounds NES customer monthly bills up to the nearest dollar; thus no household would pay more than $12 extra per year.

    Brady Watson of Indivisible Nashville and Middle Tennessee will be leading a group to meet with Rep. Jim Cooper on Monday 7th Jan, to urge him to support climate issues. The most likely requests will be to commit to not accepting money from fossil fuel companies, and to support a carbon fee and dividend bill

  • Around 500 people attend Peoples March for Climate and Science, Sept 8th 2018
    wsmv.com

    Around 500 people attended the Peoples March for Climate and Science on Sept 8th, at Public Square, downtown Nashville. This action was in line with Rise For Climate  https://riseforclimate.org/ - an international day of protest, timed to occur before the Global Climate Summit in San Francisco on Sept 13th.

    We braved the hot sun and humidity to rally and chant for action on climate change, and environmental justice. Speakers Wesley Roberts, Mayor David Briley, Molly Miller, Anne Davis, Jimmie Garland and Robert Wingfield, addressed us on the subject of climate change, environment, how to make Nashville a more sustainable city, and why pollution and climate change cause injustice to vulnerable populations. Musicians Shelby Bottom Duo, Judy Klass, Susan Shann and Tramaine Arte'Mis gave us music that was inspiring, rousing, satirical and hauntingly beautiful. We marched from Public Square to Legislative Plaza and back again. 

    https://www.tennessean.com/sto... gives more information about the importance of climate action.

  • Mayor Briley, NES and TVA Partner to Make Homes More Energy Efficient
    nashville.gov

    Climate Nashville has been advocating that TVA develop a low-income home energy improvement program. We are glad to see this new program announced

  • Local groups lobby Senator Alexander to support funding for the Dept of Energy's Clean Energy Research and Development budget.
    ucsusa.org

    The Union of Concerned Scientists met with 50 members of TN energy activist groups to speak about their concern for funding for clean energy research in the FY18 Federal Budget. The original plan was for $1.8 billion in cuts. However, Climate Nashville, SOCM and TIPL  lobbied Senator Alexander, the chair of the appropriations subcommittee. Alexander subsequently negotiated an increase of $320 million for energy projects. 

    Most impacted programs include: the Advanced Research Projects Agency; Title 17 Innovative Clean Energy Projects Loan Program; and Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program – all planned for elimination, but ultimately either kept level or funding increased. Other Offices planned to be cut, but ultimately given increased funding, include Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Electricity Delivery and Reliability; and Energy Storage Program.

  • Nashville's first community solar power project heading to Madison
    tennessean.com
  • Climate March Draws Many Tennesseans to Nashville
    tntribune.com
  • Solar power is forging ahead, even if Trump doesn't talk about it
    washingtonpost.com
  • Tennesseans want more solar power and choices other than TVA
    timesfreepress.com