By Daniel Hoviss
The Putney (VT) Energy Committee in partnership with two renewable energy companies presents an affordable alternative to the high up-front cost of solar installations — Solarize Putney. This program seeks to increase the use of small-scale renewable energy in the Putney area. This model will reduce costs for all participants by providing a competitively tiered pricing structure. As more home and business owners sign contracts for systems, the price of each system will decrease, increasing the savings for everyone.
PEC is partnering with RGS Energy (formally Real Goods Solar) for solar electric installations, and with Sunward Systems for solar hot water and space heating needs. Both companies are collaborating to provide customers with affordable, reliable, renewable energy. Both ground- and roof-mount options will be available from each company.
Solarize Putney will hold a kick-off event on Saturday, March 15th at the Putney Community Center. The evening will begin with a 6:00 pm dessert potluck followed by a brief presentation “solar makes economic sense,” and culminate with live music and dancing. Real Goods Solar and Sunward Systems will have representatives at the event that will be happy to talk about your needs.
Customers who join the program at the kickoff event will receive an extra incentive discount.
Here’s how Solarize Putney will work. Home and business owners who want to participate will pay a small, refundable deposit. Installers will provide a site assessment, an estimate for the cost of the installation, an explanation of the state and federal rebates and incentives that are available and a net payback period or return on investment calculation. Participants who sign a contract for the work will make a down payment, and once the system is completed, a final payment. In addition to state and federal incentives, home and business owners who sign up early may also be eligible for Solarize Putney incentives. Businesses may also receive other tax advantages during the first five years after installation.
Through the Solarize Putney program, Putney Energy Committee volunteers aim to increase the adoption of small-scale solar hot water and electricity systems and reduce our town, and area’s, reliance on fossil fuels and imported energy.
Contact Daniel Hoviss 802.254.1410 or Daniel@putney.net. for more information or to schedule a site visit in the Putney area.
The program is modeled on Solarize Northampton, through which more than 110 homeowners installed 739 kW of solar electric systems. The 2011 and 2012 Solarize Mass programs resulted in more than 900 residents and business owners in 21 communities installing 5.6 megawatts of solar electricity.
The Solarize Windham program will roll out across other towns in Windham County during 2014, following the successful model of Solarize programs in central Vermont and western Massachusetts. If you are located in Windham County, VT, and want to get your community involved, schedule a site visit or want more information about the Solarize Windham program, contact Tad Montgomery of Home Energy Advocates: 802-251-0502 Tad@HomeEnergyAdvocates.com.