Have you ever thought about installing solar panels on your home, farm, or small business? Now is the time to find out if solar is right for you. Wise County is launching a solarize campaign to make going solar simple and affordable. Scroll down the page for the free solar site assessment sign-up.
What is solarize?
Solarize is a way for a community to learn more about solar and reduce the cost of solar installations.
In a solarize program, a municipality or community group chooses a local company to perform all the solar installations for the people who buy solar systems during the period of the solarize campaign. The installer is able to offer lower prices because they can get bulk purchase discounts on materials and solar equipment. It also helps the solar company save money on marketing and advertising.
The phases of the program include:
- Launch date & sign up period- no obligation registration, sign up to have a free solar home evaluation, find out what kind of system you could install, and what you can expect to save without pressure to sign an installation contract
- Info meetings and education- a series of meetings to cover topics like financing and cost, solar system options, policies and regulations.
- Contracts and installations- if you decide you want solar panels on your home you can discuss the specifics with the installer, sign a contract, and begin the installation process.
How does it save money?
By doing several installations in one area at a time installers are able to make bulk purchases and offer discounts on materials and solar equipment. The solar company also saves money on marketing, advertising, and customer consultations. Because of this, solarize projects save thousands of dollars for participants.
How do I know if solar will work on my property?
The best locations for solar panels on your roof are south, east, or west facing slopes in direct sunlight with no shading. Solar arrays can be installed on metal roofs or traditional shingles. New and old roofs are are both suitable. If your roof needs to be replaced within ten years you may want to have repairs done before installing solar. Solar systems can also be mounted on the ground.
Do I need to have batteries? Most solar systems connect to the electric grid. At Solarize meetings local solar retailers will talk about the equipment options. If you sign up, a contractor will help you design a solar system to meet your personal energy needs and your budget.
I’m not sure how to pay for a solar system.
Solarize is all about making it easy and affordable to go solar. In addition to lowering costs through bulk purchasing discounts, The Solarize Wise team works with local banks and credit unions to find sensible financing options for you and to help understand financial incentives like Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) and the Solar Investment Tax Credit.
There is safety in numbers. Going solar with your community means you will get a licensed, insured, reputable installer offering you the best price without doing all the research on your own. Community meetings on a variety of topics help present all the information before you sign a contract so you can make an informed educated decision.
Solarize meetings are also a no obligation, no pressure opportunity to talk to installers and solar system owners. The participants go through the process of solarizing at the same time but it’s not a co-op so your system isn’t tied to anyone else’s. You sign your own contract with your own specifications.
Who is Solarize Wise?
You! Solarize Wise is made up of community members interested in solar. Solarize Wise is brought to you by:
- Appalachian Voices
- People Inc.
- The Wise County Chamber of Commerce
- Wise Cooperative Extension
- The Southwest Virginia Technology Council
- Mountain Empire Community College
These local groups are serving as The Solarize Wise Planning Team, helping oversee a Solarize program in Wise County by sharing information, connecting consumers and installers, and working to make solar more accessible for everyone.
ODP Solar Resources
When can I join?
The launch date for Solarize Wise is May 9th! Join the festivities at the Solar Fair at UVa Wise with live music, food, and fun. The launch date marks the beginning of the online sign up period. To get a free assessment done on your property for solar you can sign up right here:
For additional information, contact Lydia Graves at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (276) 679-1691.