Solarize Asheville-Buncombe in Final Month for Residents to Seek Savings on Solar Energy, Battery Storage

Posted by: Ken Haldin

Campaign’s Key Dates Include Signing Up by Aug. 31 and Completion of Residential Contracts by Oct. 31

Asheville, N.C.Aug. 31 is the deadline for local residents and commercial building owners to enroll for a free evaluation under the Solarize Asheville-Buncombe campaign, which offers group purchasing on solar energy and battery storage to all Asheville and Buncombe County residents and businesses.

Already, more than 635 residents enrolled for an evaluation since early April and 115 homeowners have signed contracts to advance toward owning a system through this community discount program. Solarize Asheville-Buncombe was developed and launched by a coalition of local organizations, community members, and government to help make this form of renewable energy more accessible and affordable to all.

While the deadline to sign up for a free evaluation is Tuesday, Aug. 31, residents actually have until Oct. 31 to assess their proposal and the estimated cost for a home rooftop system then make a decision to enter into a contract. Owners of commercial buildings have somewhat longer, until Dec. 31, to enter into a contract due to the complexity of larger building systems.

There are two final opportunities to learn more about how Solarize Asheville-Buncombe works prior to the enrollment deadline. One is upcoming on Tuesday, Aug. 24 -- the last virtual information session of the campaign (Register). Another is an Open House to be held at a local homeowner’s residence where a system was installed. The latter event will be from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 27 at a location to be announced.

Both events are part of a series of information sessions held to help bring awareness among residents and businesses of the benefits of solar energy, battery storage, and how the Solarize program works to achieve lower-cost access for all.

Here’s what to expect at the live Aug. 24 online forum from 10:30-11:30 a.m.:

- Current status of program and what it offers to residents and business owners

- An overview of solar incentives available, including a federal income tax credit for purchasing a solar energy system

- A look at a sample proposal with 25-year outlook, including annual savings, payback time, return on investment, etc.

- A review of solar and battery options available for your property

- An opportunity to virtually meet campaign organizers and installer company representatives and to ask questions.

The Open House on Aug. 27 will be held at a local homeowner’s residence to showcase how an installation works and the experience of signing up, having your home evaluated for solar-energy and battery storage, reviewing a proposal then proceeding through installation. 

Since the Solarize Asheville-Buncombe campaign’s first contract in early April, 115 homeowners have entered into contracts, constituting 932.4 in total kW of new clean energy capacity. This totals 2,626 solar panels that will produce 1.3 million kWh annually and utility bill savings of appx. $168,275 annually or $5,673,700 over 25 years, much of which benefits the local economy.

Thus far, Solarize Asheville-Buncombe has generated $3.05+ million in new local clean energy development and will have helped in avoiding CO2: 1.7 million lbs annually, which is equivalent to 875 tons or 350 full-size pickup trucks from off our local roads.

In addition to initiating the Solarize campaign, the local coalition developed and launched Neighbor to Neighbor Solar. This extends beyond the Solarize campaign by offering a grant program to further support those identified in need, bringing affordability, access and equity to others as a means to lower their household energy burden.

To help make solar power accessible through Neighbor to Neighbor Solar, a crowd-funding drive is underway here. Any donation -- both small and large -- is welcome and will enable more energy-burdened households to benefit from permanently lower utility costs via solar energy. All contributions are tax-deductible.

To sign up for a free Solarize Asheville-Buncombe evaluation before the deadline, or to learn more about Neighbor to Neighbor Solar or to donate, please visit www.solarizeabc.com. Descriptions of solar and battery storage pricing and equipment options, as well as other details about Solarize Asheville-Buncombe are online at this community website.

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About Solarize Asheville-Buncombe: Solarize Asheville-Buncombe is a campaign forged and supported by a local public-private coalition involving Blue Horizons Project, City of Asheville, Buncombe County, Green Built Alliance, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club - WENOCA, Lenoir-Rhyne University/Asheville Center, Hood Huggers International, Umoja Collective, MountainTrue, Green Opportunities, Asheville Homestay Network and The Collider, and administered by Solar Crowdsource. Solarize Asheville-Buncombe aims to lower the cost of solar energy and battery storage installations through the power of bulk purchasing, reducing contractor acquisition costs, and transferring those savings to residential and commercial residents.

About Green Built Alliance:

Green Built Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a 20-year history of advancing sustainability in the built environment through community education, measurable standards and regional action. The membership-based nonprofit is making a difference locally and regionally through numerous community initiatives and resources. The nonprofit makes sustainability more accessible to the surrounding area through its efforts distributing 25,000 copies of the annual Green Building Directory; coordinating the Appalachian Offsets carbon-offsetting program; managing Blue Horizons Project and Energy Savers Network to help create our region’s clean-energy future; and administering green-building certifications such as Green Built Homes. Learn more or get involved by becoming a member or making a donation at greenbuilt.org.

Contacts: 

Ken Haldin | ken@solarcrowdsource.com | (404) 405-2924 

Beatrice Nathan | beatrice@bluehorizonsproject.com | (828) 774-9997