Spring Program a Sunny Success; Recruiting for Fall Program Begins
July 10, 2014 – White River Junction, Vt. – One hundred twenty homeowners across the Upper Valley are going solar this season thanks to Solarize Upper Valley, an initiative led by Vital Communities to increase the rate of solar adoption in the region. These homeowners in Thetford and Strafford, Vt., and Cornish, Plainfield, and Lyme, N.H., are adding 638 new kilowatts of renewable energy capacity to the region – resulting in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 116 cars off the road. While the population of these five towns may be small, with only 9,406 residents combined, together they convinced 11 percent of households to get a solar site visit and three percent of households to go solar in just 15 weeks.
“The results of the first round of Solarize Upper Valley surpassed our expectations – not only in the number of households going solar, but also in the commitment of the community volunteers who made the program a success,” said Vital Communities Energy Program Manager Sarah Simonds. “We’re now recruiting communities to participate in new Solarize campaigns for the fall and are excited to help them achieve similar results.”
Solarize Upper Valley teams up community volunteers with competitively selected solar photovoltaic (PV) installers for 15 weeks of outreach around small-scale solar energy, offering competitive prices, accessible resources, and a simplified process for solar PV installations. “I know solar would have remained a ‘someday’ for us without all the work provided by [Solarize Upper Valley],” said one Solarize Cornish-Plainfield customer. “You made it possible for our someday to be today.”
Vital Communities is currently recruiting for the fall round of the Solarize Upper Valley program. Interested communities can find more information at vitalcommunities.org/solarize. The deadline to apply is July 21.
With support from the John Merck Fund and an individual donor to Vital Communities, Solarize Upper Valley is part of a larger network of Solarize programs aimed at catalyzing a very public and lasting wave of new residential solar installations across New England and beyond. Solarize programs have been successful in Massachusetts and Connecticut and are now taking root in other parts of the country.
“The exciting results from Vital Communities’ Solarize campaign continue to prove that the ‘Solarize’ community model is perhaps the most effective approach for expanding residential solar,” said Brian F. Keane, president of SmartPower, a leading partner in the broader effort to expand and share the Solarize model. “This model works – whether in Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, or anywhere across the nation.”
Vital Communities, a nonprofit organization based in White River Junction, Vt., brings together citizens, organizations, and municipalities to take on issues where an independent voice and regional approach are essential. Working together, we make our region a better place to live, work, and play. Learn more at vitalcommunities.org.