Green Justice Coalition celebrates a win as Boston City Council unanimously approves Community Choice Energy

On October 4th, the Boston City Council unanimously voted in favor of an order authorizing the adoption of Community Choice Energy, which will increase the use of clean energy throughout Boston without increasing the cost of electricity for residents and businesses.

The current President of the Boston City Council, Michelle Wu, stated, “As a mother of two young boys, I believe we owe it to future generations to take every possible step to fight climate change today.” She went on to say, “We are beyond the point of urgency with the threat of superstorms today and nothing short of environmental catastrophe in the future. Boston should move quickly to adopt CCE, the fastest way to get our city on track for 100% clean energy – for good jobs, community voice, and most of all, a safer and healthier future for our children and grandchildren.” You can read more about this victory for clean energy here.

Meanwhile, the Massachusett’s State Legislature is considering a bill which would ensure that renters and low-income communities can benefit from access to solar energy. The bill is supported by the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus as well as the Green Justice Coalition, a grouping of community organizations, environmental advocates and labor unions convened by Community Labor United.

The proposed legislation (H. 3396 / S. 1831) would remove barriers preventing low-income communities from accessing solar energy, many of which were brought about by 2016 legislation that removed financial incentives offsetting the costs of solar energy within these communities.

According to The Bay State Banner, the bill would allow low-to-moderate-income residents as well as renters to access reimbursement rates similar to those available to homeowners, by buying into solar projects based “in low- to moderate-income communities and communities in which at least a quarter of the population is minority or lacks English language proficiency.”  It would also require future programs offering solar incentive compensation to include an equity component.

The bill is sponsored by Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz in the Senate and Representatives Russell Holmes and Michelle DuBois in the House. Members of the Green Justice Coalition testified in favor of the bill during an October 3rd legislative hearing.

You can read more about this important piece of legislation here.

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