First Homeowner Contract Follows Successful Launch of Solarize Asheville-Buncombe

Posted by: Ken Haldin

Fund-raising kickoff for Neighbor to Neighbor Solar Highlights Earth Week 2021

The first local homeowner to take advantage of Solarize Asheville-Buncombe, a community-based group-purchasing solar campaign, has signed a contract to power a Weaverville residence with renewable energy.

The resident secured a 8.8-KW system through Solarize Asheville-Buncombe, which seeks to make solar energy and battery storage more affordable for both residences and commercial buildings through a unique bulk-purchasing concept. The more participants, the more costs decline for every property owner who contracts for a system.

Nearly 350 local residents and businesses owners have already signed up to learn more about how Solarize Asheville-Buncombe works. A virtual community launch event held earlier this month also attracted nearly 150 online viewers to a webinar that explained how the campaign’s tiered approach to solar and battery costs enables system discounts.

Contacts and visits with local property owners who requested an evaluation are now getting underway. Under the Solarize concept, anyone who decides to purchase a solar power installation in the early stages of the campaign receives the same discounts as the last participant.

Neighbor to Neighbor: Affordability + Access 

The Solarize Asheville-Buncombe campaign is open to Asheville and Buncombe County property owners without restrictions. To lower the cost of solar power even further, the local coalition of organizations and entities that conceived and launched the Solarize Asheville-Buncombe campaign has developed a method to further increase access for Buncombe County residents -- its Neighbor to Neighbor Solar program.

This initiative seeks to supplement Solarize discounts for income-qualified property owners via a community fund-raising effort. Already, $50,000 has been secured to help lower costs for potential recipients. But more funds are needed in order to help additional families with their monthly energy burden, which can make up a significant portion of any household’s budget.

For those who want to help make solar power accessible through Neighbor to Neighbor Solar, a crowd-funding method to make a tax-deductible donation is now available at www.solarizeabc.com. Donations both large and small are welcome this Earth Week and beyond.

Residents and businesses may go now to the Solarize Asheville-Buncombe website to learn more about the campaign and sign up for a free evaluation. Descriptions of tiered pricing and equipment options as well as details about valuable 2021 energy tax credits are online. More information about qualifying for Neighbor to Neighbor Solar is also online.

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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 the 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.