“Wow!” one chamber President said at the annual conference of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives in Savannah, GA, last week. “I can’t believe how much interest in clean energy has grown.”
Ryan Evans, who recently left his position as Vice President of the Salt Lake Chamber to become President of the Utah Solar Energy Association, said, “Solar energy has a job creation mechanism like no other. In Utah, we have more employees in solar now than in coal, and more in solar than in our utilities.”
Marc Jordan, CEO and President of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber in South Carolina, a long-time advocate for offshore wind, said “Today, we don’t talk about economic development without the word ‘clean’ in it.”
Nicole Stika of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) in Ohio spoke about how they are helping member businesses avoid over $2 million in utility costs through energy efficiency programs.
Alison Van Dam of the Metro South Chamber in Massachusetts called the Chamber Solar Challenge project—which gives chambers an opportunity to earn $1,000 to $5,000 in non-dues revenue for every member business that signs up to install solar panels—a “win-win-win.” It drives down energy costs, creates jobs, and attracts new businesses as well as interest from millennials, she said.
And when asked, “From a business perspective, do you agree it makes good economic sense for your state to offer more renewable energy?” a resounding 98 percent of some 60 chambers executives surveyed answered “Yes”.
In other ACCE NEWS: Congratulations to Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy Advisory Council member Christy Gillenwater, President and CEO of the Southwest Indiana Chamber, which ACCE honored as a “Chamber of the Year.”
Pictured at top: Aaron Nelson, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber; Marc Jordan, North Myrtle Beach Chamber; Ryan Evans, Salt Lake Chamber.
Pictured above: Rebecca Guzy, Greater Akron Chamber; Diane Doucette, Executive Director, CICE.