viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra

Solarize programs soar in Lee, Williamstown

[media-credit id=13 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]Last year, Pittsfield and Lenox were among 17 Massachusetts communities selected to participate in the Solarize Mass program, a state-sponsored clean energy initiative. This year, the program is being implemented in ten more towns throughout the Commonwealth, including two more in Berkshire County.

Residents in Lee and Williamstown have demonstrated considerable interest in the program since the two communities were officially selected to participate back in April. According to Roger Scheurer, solar coordinator for the program in Lee, the town led all of the other ten selected communities with initial interest and contracts.

“There continues to be tremendous interest in the Solarize program,” he said. “As people learn more about the program, it encourages them to join.”

Jake Laughner, the solar coordinator in Williamstown, said the response to the program has been “overwhelmingly positive.”

Solarize Mass, a partnership between the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Green Communities Division of the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), is a program launched in 2011 to encourage homeowners and businesses to utilize PV solar for their electricity needs. It is a key part of the effort to meet Gov. Deval Patrick’s goal of 250 megawatts of installed solar power by 2017.

Those who participate have the option of buying a solar system from a state-designated solar installer, leasing the solar panels, or purchasing the solar electricity from the solar company at a lower rate than the utility, with no installation or maintenance of panels required.

A key part of the program is the tiered pricing structure, which offers increased savings as more people participate.

The more homes that enroll in the program, the more electricity will be generated and the cheaper the installation cost will be. The cost is determined by the total number of kilowatts of solar capacity contracted in each community, with 200kw being the threshold for the most electricity generated, and therefore the lowest cost to install. This cheapest threshold is known as Tier 5.

With six weeks left before the September 30 deadline to enroll in the program, 28 contracts have been signed in Williamstown and 15 have signed on in Lee, with more likely to come. As Mr. Laughner explained, the most signups typically occur late in the game, once people have had time to think about their options and once the town qualifies for the cheapest price threshold.

With 170kw of solar already contracted, Williamstown is on track to qualify for Tier 5 pricing. “We feel extremely confident that we’re going to meet that, probably by the end of the month,” said Mr. Laughner.

Lee has already reached Tier 5, with the 15 contracts totaling 203kw, according to Mr. Scheurer.

“There are another 39 [people] who are evaluating their proposals and another 26 waiting for a meeting with the solar installer’s salesperson,” said Mr. Scheurer. “I expect another ten contracts before the Sept 30 deadline, but hope for a lot more.”

The solar installer selected by the two towns for the Solarize program is Real Goods Solar, a Colorado-based company.

“There were local installers who were disappointed in our selection of the contractor. I think the performance of the contractor has borne out that we made the right choice,” said Mr. Laughner.

“And I also think that going forward, the market is going to be energized in a very positive way and it’s going to be good business opportunities for everybody, local installers and others,” he added. “This is putting this area on the map as a place that adopts well to solar.”

According to Mr. Laughner, before Solarize there had been a total of 23 residential solar systems installed in Williamstown for a capacity of about 86kw. “In the first few months of Solarize, that base has doubled,” he said.

He expects it to grow even more after the Solarize program comes to an end.

“What I expect to have happen is an effect where, two or three years out, the market is going to be much more vibrant, there’s going to be more sales per year than had been before the start of the Solarize program,” he said.

The reason, he explained, is that people who signed up during the Solarize program and are happy with their solar system will talk to their friends and neighbors and encourage them to look into it.

“This is something that’s going to seep down into more of the typical awareness, and it’s going to then grow exponentially.”

Share This Post

Posted by on August 15, 2013. Filed under Featured,News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra viagra online generic viagra accutane buy phentermine viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra