Colchester, VT – Since the Energy Co-op of Vermont’s Co-op Solar program launched in March of this year, over 400 residents and business owners in Chittenden County have taken advantage of a free solar site assessment offered through the program. The site assessment helps the homeowner understand the viability of a solar hot water system for their specific property. It also allows the site assessor to produce a return on investment report, detailing the system’s payback period and cumulative financial savings over a given period of time.
The program was developed in response to rising fuel costs, the increasing GHG emissions and effects of climate change, and also to help Vermonters save money while doing the right thing for the environment and their local communities. By partnering with Vermont-based Sunward Systems, the Energy Co-op has been able to secure a deep price discount on the solar hot water heaters. With state and federal incentives, typical installation costs have been reduced by more than 50%. In addition, low interest solar loans from VSECU provide a financing option, allowing Co-op Solar systems to be installed with no money down. Over the lifetime of the system, cumulative savings of more than $20,000 can be realized – all while reducing individual and regional carbon footprints.
Even though larger, renewable energy projects can produce much more output in comparison to a single residential or commercial system, the positive effects of smallerscale, individual and community installations are tangible. At a recent Co-op Solar house party, where friends and neighbors are invited to come “kick the tires” of a solar hot water system installation, a Burlington resident was amazed “at how a newly installed piece of equipment could bring the neighborhood together.”
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end – but in the case of the Co-op Solar program – not without one last hurrah. There’s still time to sign up for the program and a free site assessment, as well as secure the significantly reduced Co-op Solar pricing before the program ends on June 30th. While applicants must sign up by June 30th, the systems do not have to actually be installed by this date to get the Co-op discount. Co-op Solar events are planned throughout the month, including info booths at the Richmond and Essex farmer’s markets, June 8th and 15th respectively, as well as the Dealer.com Wellness Fair in Burlington on June 10th. Info sessions are scheduled at Healthy Living in So. Burlington on June 7th, the Shelburne Town Offices on June 11th, and at City Market in Burlington on June 13th. The program will also be featured on June 13th in Underhill, as part of a solar challenge that the town energy committee has ssued. A grand finale celebration will take place at Main St. Landing on June 26th as the Co-op Solar program partners sponsor the Burlington Green Drinks event.
For more details on events or the program, or to sign up for a free site assessment, call the Energy Co-op of Vermont at (802) 860-4090 or visit: http://www.Co-opSolar.net
The Energy Co-op of Vermont is a non-profit, member-owned energy services cooperative, delivering fuel oil, kerosene and wood pellets, and installing and servicing efficient heating equipment for a membership of more than 2,100 Vermonters.
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