Read our report from Phase 1: Let’s Solarize: Solarize Connecticut Phase 1 Report [PDF]
Press Release: Report: Innovative Program “Cracks The Code” For Residential Solar Power
Unique Program Reduces Costs for Customers by About $7500 Each, Making Solar Power More Affordable and Attractive To Homeowners
Rocky Hill, CT & Washington, DC – September 25, 2013 –The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) and SmartPower released today a report that reveals a proven model for dramatically reducing the cost barrier that has stood in the way of wide-scale adoption of residential solar power in the United States. In recent years, the cost of the hardware required for residential solar power has declined significantly; it’s the “soft” costs of customer acquisition that have been the primary obstacle. This report reveals a way to reduce those soft costs and make residential solar power attractive not just to those who are naturally inclined to alternative energy sources but also to those who simply want to stabilize their energy costs. About 20% of those choosing solar under this model had never thought about acquiring solar power before.
The report details the results of Phase 1 of Solarize Connecticutsm – a partnership between CEFIA and SmartPower is part of the Energize Connecticut initiative, which helps consumers and businesses save money and access clean energy. The results cover a 20-week four-town initiative to advance the adoption of residential solar photovoltaic systems by lowering acquisition costs and making solar more affordable to residents using the Solarize model. The results, which are impressive and highlight the extraordinary potential of residential solar power as acquisition costs decline, include the following:
“These are very exciting results,” said Bryan Garcia, president and CEO of CEFIA. “Working with SmartPower, it’s clear that Solarize Connecticut is making solar power affordable to more and more Connecticut homeowners. We expect that the introduction of CEFIA’s innovative financing tools will only further enhance this terrific program.
“We think we’ve cracked the code for residential solar power,” said Brian F. Keane, President of SmartPower. “It shows that the costs of acquiring solar power systems can be reduced to a level where public demand increases significantly and even includes those who had not expected to be interested. And keep in mind, this was all done during a 20 week campaign.”
The Solarize model consists of the following key components:
A full report on Phase 1 of Solarize Connecticut is available at http://solarizect.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/TheFinalReportSept172013.pdf. The four Connecticut communities participating were Durham, Fairfield, Portland, and Westport.
A second phase in five additional communities has recently been completed, and official results are still being analyzed. Preliminary results reveal that approximately 175 contracts were executed, with each town seeing more than twice as many residential solar installations as they had in the last seven years.
Phase 3 has just begun in another set of communities. Town volunteers from those communities are now working with CEFIA, SmartPower, and the community’s pre-selected solar installer to plan outreach events and workshops – providing homeowners an opportunity to meet their installer, learn about new financing options, and determine if their home is right for solar.
With the Solarize model, as more homeowners sign up to install solar, the price for everyone goes down, including those who install systems earlier in the program. Solarize customers can expect to receive discounts of between 15% and 20% on the base cost of solar systems through the program. Options to purchase, finance or lease make solar more accessible to homeowners participating in the program.
About the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority
CEFIA was established by Connecticut’s General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. This new quasi-public agency supersedes the former Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. CEFIA’s mission is to help ensure Connecticut’s energy security and community prosperity by realizing its environmental and economic opportunities through clean energy finance and investments. As the nation’s first full-scale clean energy finance authority, CEFIA leverages public and private funds to drive investment and scale-up clean energy deployment in Connecticut. For more information about CEFIA, please visit www.ctcleanenergy.com.
SmartPower is the nation’s leading non-profit organization that creates community campaigns for energy efficiency and clean energy. By engaging local partners from the municipal, business, private and non-profit sectors we promote behavior change and measurable energy actions. SmartPower’s COR approach using Community outreach, On-line tools, and Rewards and Incentives is a tested formula that promotes engagement and delivers results. SmartPower is leading the New England Solar Challenge effort, which is intended to accelerate the adoption of Solar PV throughout the region. For more information, please visit www.smartpower.org.
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Read our report from Phase 1: Let’s Solarize: Solarize Connecticut Phase 1 Report [PDF]
Bambi Poppick To Lead Energize Norwich Program
August 22, 2013, Washington, DC: SmartPower, the nation’s leading non-profit organization that creates community campaigns for energy efficiency and renewable energy by engaging local partners from the municipal, business, private and non-profit sectors today announced that veteran organizer Bambi Poppick has joined the rapidly expanding organization. Ms. Poppick represents the fourth hire for SmartPower in the past three months.
Poppick will help manage a unique energy efficiency program called “Energize Norwich”. Energize Norwich is a pilot program supported by a partnership between the Connecticut Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, Norwich (CT) Public Utilities, Core Plus Federal Credit Union, Eastern Savings Bank and SmartPower. The “Energize Norwich” campaign is designed to encourage Norwich residents to save money by adopting energy savings measures for their home as well as to convert from oil heat to natural gas. Ms. Poppick will lead the outreach for this effort, working with residents, local organizations and community groups.
Ms. Poppick, a resident of Mystic, CT, brings an extensive experience in non-profit outreach, having served in membership recruitment capacities for a variety of Connecticut-based organizations including the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, the Girl Scouts of Connecticut, and Ocean Community YMCA. Ms. Poppick has worked with Norwich institutions through her work with the Chamber as well as a consulting assignment with Norwich Public Utilities.
Kate Donnelly Joins Rapidly Growing New England Solar Challenge Efforts
July 9, 2013, Washington, DC: SmartPower, a non-profit organization that creates community campaigns for energy efficiency and renewable energy by engaging local partners from the municipal, business, private and non-profit sectors announced today the hire of Kate Donnelly to help manage its residential solar efforts across Connecticut.
Ms. Donnelly brings a wide range of experiences to her new job. In addition to currently coordinating the clean energy and energy efficiency efforts in Mansfield and Windham, Kate has served as First Selectman of Hampton, where she makes her home. While First Selectman, Kate formed a Green Committee that led to several solar installations across her community. Kate also serves on the District 11 Board of Education promoting educational equity all while raising a family in the Nutmeg State. Ms. Donnelly is a 2006 graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University.
SmartPower has been partnering with the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) to co-sponsor Solarize Connecticut – a campaign to boost residential solar across the state. Ms. Donnelly has been part of those efforts through her work with the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Energy Challenge in the towns of Mansfield and Windham, where her work with town leaders has led to outstanding results.
In her new role with SmartPower, Ms. Donnelly will be working with a number of communities across the state to implement successful community outreach and education efforts to promote Solarize Connecticut. In addition, Ms. Donnelly will be working on a project to further understand the adoption of solar energy funded by the Department of Energy with Yale, New York University and CEFIA.
“We are excited to add Kate to our team,” announced Brian Keane, President of SmartPower. “Kate brings a demonstrated a track record of public service and community outreach that fits perfectly with SmartPower – to say nothing of her expertise in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Her leadership experience as an elected official in town government as well as her ability to work with diverse stakeholders will be an important asset to the SmartPower team as we help advance solar here in Connecticut, throughout New England and across the nation.”