Oregon Solar News

Solar Workforce Diversity Study Benchmarks the Industry

A diverse workforce better reflects the perspective of its customers, fosters innovation and retains existing talent—all of which are key contributors to financial performance.

That’s why a first-of-its-kind report will be released later this year on career pathways and diversity in the solar workforce. As an initiative of the Solar Energy Industry Association’s Women’s Empowerment Committee and administered by The Solar Foundation, the study will establish a baseline on specific job responsibilities, salaries, and levels of leadership for women, minorities and veterans. It will compare the results to other industry sectors and identify best practices and areas for improvement.

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OSEIA Surveys Legislators, the Results Are In

Today is the last day Oregonians can register to vote in the 2016 election! If you haven’t registered, do so here. OSEIA has done some research and we want to share results with you as you consider your votes. The 2017 legislative session has a lot of important topics to discuss. Many topics will impact the solar industry in Oregon and beyond like the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) (set to expire at the end of 2017) and Property Tax Exemption (also set to expire end of 2017). While the Oregon solar industry is growing, it isn’t quite ready to stand alone without support.

The Oregon SolarPAC has been busy across Oregon raising and dispensing of funds. While fundraising has been slower than hoped for, the funds raised thus far have been put to good use, and many of our members can testify to that!

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Policy Update: The Busy is About to Get Busier

There was a time when the “dog days of summer” really did mean ”a period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence.” But the summer of 2016 was marked by anything but inactivity on the policy front. And it’s about to get busier.


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A Stark Reminder of the Need to Educate Policymakers

The news that Governor Brown publicly proposed ending Oregon's RETC program sent shockwaves through our solar industry last week-- and for a good reason. The RETC program has been run responsibly by Oregon's Dept. of Energy, is functioning well, and is no less than crucial to our solar industry. OSEIA seeks to tell RETC's story every time we meet with policymakers. But often those opportunities occur during brief lobby meetings about pending legislation when the legislature is in session. To increase the number of policymakers who truly understand solar, OSEIA needs to expand the opportunities it has to meet and build relationships with policymakers, ideally outside the time frame of the hectic legislative session. Ultimately, our goal is for the solar industry to build legislative champions to advance the widespread adoption of solar energy in Oregon.

We have work to do! You can help in two ways:
  1. Support our effort to educate policymakers-- contribute to Oregon SolarPAC today.
  2. Help us educate the Governor about RETC by telling us how RETC is important to your business. Please email jeff@oseia.org your story by July 10.
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OSEIA Wants Your RETC Stories

Last week, OSEIA staff alerted us to Gov. Kate Brown’s letter to the Joint Legislative Committee on Oversight of the Oregon Department of Energy. In her letter, she suggested that the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) and some other tax credits be allowed to sunset. Please take a moment to write out a few of your experiences with the RETC. We need your stories to include in communications and lobbying activities over the next few months. You can send your write-up to Jeff Bissonnette at jeff@oseia.org by July 10.

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Policy Update 6/24/16

Maybe it’s the July 4th/Independence Day holiday coming up but the saying from the American Revolution has been on my mind for the past few days. With apologies to Thomas Jefferson (who said “eternal vigilance is the price of freedom”), we’ve learned recently that we need to be ready for anything as we build a stronger solar industry in Oregon.

On June 24, Gov. Kate Brown sent a letter to the Joint Legislative Committee on Oversight of the Oregon Department of Energy that acknowledged the continuing shadow of the now-defunct Business Energy Tax Credit and called for allowing the Residential Energy Tax Credit and some other incentive programs to expire as they are scheduled to at the end of 2017... Read more

Action Needed: RETC under threat to expire

SUBJECT: Gov Brown is suggesting that the RETC expire
ACTION: READ BELOW - email us your stories and data about the benefits of the RETC over the past decade.
DEADLINE: July 10, 2016

OSEIA Members,

Late Friday evening, OSEIA got a letter that the Governor sent to the Joint Legislative Committee on ODOE Oversight that, among other things, suggested letting the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) expire. While the letter also says we need to do stuff about climate, it doesn't say what or whether the spending level would be equivalent to RETC.
There was a meeting today with the ODOE Oversight committee, OSEIA was there, and while nothing specific happened there is alot of work ahead of us and we do need your support. We are optimistic!
For now - please email us your stories and data specifically regarding how the RETC has impacted your business, employees and customers over the past decade. Feel free to mention employee growth, revenue data, importance of the RETC to encourage homeowners to go solar and other supporting information.
Email your letters on your company letterhead to Meghan@oseia.org, Jeff@oseia.org or Craig@oseia.org before July 10, 2016.

Questions? Please ask.

Governor Letter on RETC et al

​“Amp Up” Solar’s Political Voice!

6.10.16 - OSEIA has started the Oregon SolarPAC as a way to strengthen solar’s political voice in Oregon. While OSEIA and many solar advocates have been involved in the legislative process, pushing the solar agenda, we will be much more effective if we can start policy conversations with decision-makers during the campaign season before the legislative session starts. We can also begin to identify and support policymakers who are or become solar champions.

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OSEIA Works to Amplify Political Voice

Earlier this month, OSEIA launched Oregon SolarPAC to begin to create a political arm for the solar industry.

What does a political action committee allow OSEIA to do? We can have conversations with candidates for public office while they are running and before the hectic pace of a legislative session starts. We can also make campaign contributions to support candidates for office, especially if we believe they are going to be strong supporters of good solar policy.

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Million Solar Strong

Over the past 40 years, the United States has installed more than 27 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity across 1 million systems. This incredible milestone becomes even more impressive when you consider that projections have us reaching 2 million installations in just 2 years. Solar is no longer a fringe technology, nor is it a solution for the future. It is powering homes and businesses nationwide today, and the more solar we install, the more jobs and economic growth we support.

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Western States Federal Lobby Day - April 21 in Washington, D.C.

SEIA invites you to roll up your sleeves and join us in Washington, D.C., for a power-packed federal lobby day on Capitol Hill. This day will be focused on putting you in the room with federal lawmakers who represent you and your state: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

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Fight for the ITC

California’s solar market will experience a wild ride as consumers rush to beat the 2016 expiration of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Without an ITC extension - or some other policy that fills its shoes -- a bust looms on the horizon especially for residential solar. ITC extension isn't just important for California's solar industry, employing over 54,000 jobs, but plays a key role in addressing the drought and helping farmers lower their costs despite rising energy costs.

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Ready to advance your career in Oregon’s solar industry?
Ready to advance your career in Oregon’s solar industry?

Support the Oregon SolarPAC!!!

OSEIA has started a political action committee to increase our voice and influence with our decision makers in Salem. Your donation to the Oregon SolarPAC helps expand OSEIA’s capacity to develop a marketplace for the widespread adoption of solar energy in Oregon. More information>