Armed with signs, green t-shirts and passion, the Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) recently gathered outside of PECO headquarters in Philadelphia with the goal of convincing the utility to commit to getting 20 percent of its electricity from rooftop solar by 2025.
When looking at the big picture, EQAT is not asking for anything out of the ordinary. Neighboring New Jersey’s current goal is 24.5 percent renewable energy by 2020, while New York has committed to 50 percent by 2030.
This protest was one small piece of EQAT’s Power Local Green Jobs campaign, which began in 2015. Solar energy projects have the potential to create thousands of local jobs, and could be particularly beneficial in neighborhoods with high unemployment rates.
The organization does not aim to attack PECO, but instead emphasize how everyone—the utility, the consumers and the planet—will benefit from transitioning to renewable energy sources like solar.
“Utilities need to invest in people and the planet rather than short-term profit. For a utility, this sustainable business model translates to local employment and zero-emissions electricity generation, which leads to local self-reliance, regional pride and reduced emissions,” says EQAT volunteer Meenal Raval. “It’s a win-win-win. We’ve got your back, PECO!”
EQAT has organized over a dozen peaceful protests targeting PECO, and was granted a small victory on Earth Day when the utility announced the formation of a solar stakeholder collaborative to advance local solar.
But the movement toward clean energy in Pennsylvania is just beginning. EQAT has plans to expand its green-jobs campaign across Philadelphia and Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties. Energy in the United States is undergoing a major transformation, and Pennsylvania should not be left behind. Support EQAT’s mission at www.eqat.org and contact Exact Solar through the contact form below to harness the power of the sun in your home or business today!
Written by Sarah Bergen. Sarah is the Office Manager at Exact Solar. She has a background in journalism and is passionate about fighting climate change. She can be reached at [email protected].