Solar Austin Happy Hour: Green Power Investment, Love It or Hate It?

In what promises to be a lively evening, Solar Austin has invited representatives of community groups that don’t always agree with clean energy enthusiasts for a robust discussion of issues shaping Austin’s energy future. Affordability and Green Power champion Rep. Eddie Rodriguez will also offer his insights.

Shoal Creek Saloon, Dec. 15.  Plenty of food, drink and parking

Register Here

Please join us if you can.

Mike Sloan
Chairman, Subcommittee to get Happy about Solar
Solar Austin

Talk: Green Power Investment: Love It or Hate It ?

Time: Wednesday, December 15  ·  5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Shoal Creek Saloon

909 N. Lamar, Austin.

Some in Austin say Green Power is too expensive.  Our solar goals, too ambitious.  Local media report green power will raise electric bills, leaving some groups concerned.

While present day challenges are very real, a careful look at the facts suggests renewables and energy efficiency have thus far provided more value than cost in Austin.   If we can do it smart, future green power likewise can be cost-effective and help control electric bills.

The current situation conjures up the Cool Hand Luke line: “What we have here is a failure to communicate.

Solution? Let’s get together and communicate.

The Dec. 15 event is an opportunity for those interested in a greener, cleaner future to reach out to those who may see the world differently.

Mike Sloan will lead the conversation by offering a wide range of information and provocative ideas on a number of topics, ranging from Austin Energy’s spending trends,  affordability of different supply options, to business model reform.

A diverse panel of commentators will respond with wider community views, with opportunities for additional comments from those in attendance.

Event starts at 5:30 to eat, drink, mix.

Conversation on Austin’s Energy Future — and how to get our Green Mojo back — commences at 6:30. Please participate.

Mike Sloan, Virtus Energy & PowerSmack


Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, Texas House of Representatives
GaryBernie” Bernfeld, Austin Electric Utility Commission
Roger Borgelt, Austinites for Action, Co-Chair
John Sutton, BOMA & CCARE


Mike Sloan, Virtus Energy & PowerSmack
For more than 20 years, Mike has consulted exclusively on renewable energy policy, education and project development for a wide range of projects in North America, Europe, Africa, and Hawaii using wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and/or hydropower. During Mike’s long tenure as Managing Consultant of The Wind Coalition, Texas became the #1 Wind State in the U.S.  Mike played an instrumental role in development of Texas’ landmark Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ), Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), and Renewable Energy Credit (REC) programs — generally regarded as “best practices” models in the U.S.  Locally, Mike chaired Austin’s Sustainable Energy Task Force (developed GreenChoice), was a founder of Solar Austin (advocated for solar rebate program), was a member of Austin’s 2009 Generation Planning Task Force and founded a forum on energy and politics in Austin Texas.

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, Texas House of Representatives
First elected in 2002, Representative Eddie Rodriguez currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Select Committee on Transportation Funding, on the Public Safety Committee and the Technology, Economic Development and Workforce Committee.  Eddie was born in McAllen, Texas, and received degrees from the University of Texas in Government (1995) and Law (2008). Eddie’s legislative focus is on regional transportation, affordable housing, health and human services and the promotion of renewable and sustainable energy as part of a statewide approach to improving environmental quality and creating economic development opportunities for Texas.

GaryBernie” Bernfeld,  Austin Electric Utility Commission
Gary “Bernie” Bernfeld is a Commissioner with the City of Austin Electric Utility Commission as well as on the board or active with a number of other community organizations;  he was also a stakeholder on Austin’s ECAD taskforce.   Bernie has 30 years in finance and credit and has worked for the last 20 years in mortgage with the last 10 as a Sales Manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

Roger Borgelt,  Austinites for Action, Co-Chair
Austin lawyer Roger Borgelt has twenty years’ experience in the practice of progressive environmental, administrative, utility and professional licensure law. A former Assistant Attorney General of Texas and Deputy Chief of the AG’s Consumer Protection Division, Borgelt entered private practice in 2006 and has been active in community activities, including as co-chair of Austinites for Action.

John Sutton, BOMA & CCARE
Sutton is Assistant Vice President  of the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation and is the energy representative for the Building Owners and Managers Association. He served as a member of Austin’s Generation Resource Planning Task Force in 2009 and is a board member of the Austin-based Coalition for Clean Affordable and Reliable Energy (CCARE).