Solarize – What is it?
What is Solarize 2016?
Solarize is an initiative being organized by Sustainable Woodstock and volunteers to encourage communities to work together to bring more solar energy to our area. Through an agreement with a selected installer, Catamount Solar, they will reduce the cost of solar for everyone as more people sign up for an installation during the campaign. Residents of Barnard, Bridgewater, Hartland, Pomfret, Reading and Woodstock who sign up for a solar installation before June 30th will have access to these extra incentives! Our goal is to bring at least 180KW of new, clean solar energy to our area!
Why go solar?
Now is the best time to go solar! Vermont’s regulations on solar are set to change next year and they could potentially be making solar less economical. If you sign up for a solar installation before the end of this year you will more than likely be grandfathered into the new regulations for 10 years.
Solar reduces your carbon footprint! Solar energy is renewable and creates energy from a completely clean source; the Sun. By creating your own electricity through solar you are reducing your consumption of dirty fossil fuels and thereby helping reduce your own personal carbon footprint.
Solar supports a local economy! By generating our own solar energy we can keep money, which would normally would have been sent out of state to support large fossil fuels companies, in the state or in our pockets. Locally generated solar energy helps make our community and state less vulnerable to the outside markets which are deeply tied to the cost of fossil fuels.
Solar will save you money! The cost of solar is very low right now. With the 30% federal tax incentive and the discounts from Solarize 2016 a home owner could save thousands of dollars on the initial costs of the installation. With a lower initial cost most homeowners are paying off the solar array by making monthly loan payments, roughly equivalent to what they would have been paying for electricity bills. After 10 years of payments the electricity is free. Solar arrays have a lifespan of about 30 years, so after a homeowner has paid off the array they could have free electricity for 20 more years!
Who is our selected installer?
At the end of 2014 Sustainable Woodstock conducted a very competitive selection process to decide who the selected installer for the Solarize Pomfret/Woodstock campaign would be. Sustainable Woodstock chose to partner with Catamount Solar of Randolph because they were the most obvious choice. Catamount is a local, employee owned company, with lots of experience installing solar installations. They were also chosen because they would best match the energy and needs of our community, in other words they were the least salesmen like.
Catamount conducted about 100 site visits during Solarize Pomfret/Woodstock and everyone we spoke with had nothing but nice things to say about them. With the relationship already built between Sustainable Woodstock, our community, and Catamount it seemed foolish to work with anyone else. This is why Sustainable Woodstock and our communities are so excited to partnering up with Catamount Solar again for Solarize 2016!
Contact Catamount directly to schedule a free site visit! http: (802) 728-3600 or Solarize2016@catamountsolar.com
Who are our volunteers?
Volunteers from local energy committees in all six participating communities are working for the next four months to organize support and awareness about Solarize 2016! By volunteering their time through their commitment to creating more solar in our area they are able to make the cost of a solar installation more affordable for us all. We can always use more help to spreading the word, so please let us know if you would like to get involved! Below are the contact people for each participating Solarize 2016 town:
Barnard: Barnard Energy Committee, Elizabeth Ferry, Ferry@innevi.com
Bridgewater: Collen Doyle, CollenDoyle@gmail.com
Hartland: Hartland Energy Committee, Karl Kemnitzer, Kkemvt@gmail.com
Pomfret: Pomfret Energy Committee, Norwood Long, Norward@myfairpoint.net
Reading: Reading Energy Committee, Rebecca Basch, Rebeccabasch@comcast.net
Woodstock: Sustainable Woodstock Energy Action Committee, Zachariah Ralph, Zach@sustainablewoodstock.org