More Than 300 Rogue Valley Residents Celebrate Rogue Climate’s “Clean Energy Day” at Medford Commons

Photo Credit: David Chambers

Event calls for a coordinated local clean energy plan to create jobs, reduce long-term energy costs, and help address climate change by speeding the transition to cleaner energy and greater energy efficiency.

via Hannah Sohl – Rogue Climate

A festive crowd of more than 300 Rogue Valley residents today celebrated Clean Energy Day at Medford Commons, organized by Rogue Climate, a nonpartisan, youth-led advocacy group. The huge crowd included students, parents, grandparents, teachers, faith communities, forestry workers, farmers, ranchers, hunters, anglers, small business owners and workers, local elected officials, and other residents.

Highlights included:

A giant sun symbolizing the potential for cleaner energy use in our region. The sun, more than a hundred feet across, was made from more than 800 artworks created by students and adults from Rogue River, Grants Pass, Applegate, Medford, White City, Ashland and more.

Photo Credit: Sergie Boutenko

 Educational booths and games emphasizing ways that local residents and businesses can create jobs, reduce long-term energy costs, and help address climate change by transitioning to cleaner energy and greater energy efficiency. Some of the local businesses that participated included Clean Energy Works, True South Solar, Blue Sky, Pacific Power, Brammo Electric Motorcycles, Lithia, and more.

Photo credit: Matt Witt

A call for a coordinated local clean energy plan to be developed by local agencies, businesses, and community groups.

In remarks to the crowd, 24-year-old Hannah Sohl of Rogue Climate said that by improving energy efficiency and increasing use of solar power and other cleaner energy sources, “We can create good jobs. We can lower our energy costs in the long run. And we can preserve and improve our rural quality of life that makes this such a wonderful place to live.”

The Rogue Climate spokeswoman cited a 2011 study by the Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG) that estimated that 60,000 homes in the area need retrofitting with better insulation, windows, and energy efficient lighting. Doing that would create thousands of jobs. It also would save homeowners, landlords, and rental tenants an average of 30 percent on energy bills, freeing up millions of dollars per year for our local economy. Thousands of local businesses also could make their buildings more energy efficient, again saving millions of dollars and providing local jobs.

Photo Credit: Matt Witt

Sohl noted that the report said that by improving energy efficiency and increasing use of solar, wind, and other cleaner energy sources, the Rogue Valley could go from getting 30 percent of our energy from renewable sources to 60 percent.

Oregon State Senator Alan Bates asked the crowd for public support for action in the 2015 legislative session to speed our transition to cleaner energy.

Eric Hansen of True South Solar talked about how local jobs are already being created installing solar panels for residences and businesses, and pointed to the potential to create many more.