Solarize Savannah to Launch Bulk-Purchase Solar Community Campaign on Wednesday, June 9th

Posted by: Jennette Gayer

Campaign includes aggressive goal for solar on low-income homes    

Savannah, GA—Solarize Savannah, a community-based group-purchasing initiative for solar energy, battery storage, and other clean-energy technologies, officially kicks off on June 9th. Creative Solar USA has been selected as the installation partner for the program.

A virtual launch event on Wednesday, June 9th at 6:30 p.m. will feature Savannah Mayor Van R. Johnson and discuss the benefits of solar energy, program details such as materials and group discount pricing, and Q&A with Solarize Savannah Steering Committee members and partners. This is a free event and open to the public. Interested parties may register HERE.

Savannah is among a growing number of cities that are committed to transitioning to 100% clean energy goals and have pledged to accomplish these goals in a just and equitable way. In addition to electricity bill savings and increasing renewable energy adoption, these campaigns will seek pathways to green jobs for local residents through a workforce-development component, as well as provide deeper cost reductions to low- and moderate-income community members through fundraising and financing options. 

“The path to a 100% clean, renewable, and just energy future in Savannah happens one roof at a time,” said Jennette Gayer, the Director of Environment Georgia and a longtime participant in Solarize programs. “Solarize Savannah makes solar so much easier and cheaper by doing a lot of the leg work for the residents of  Savannah.”

Dozens of Savannah homeowners and business owners have signed up for a free solar evaluation at their properties since the campaign began accepting advance registrations. Interested residents and businesses may go to www.solarizesavannah.com now to learn more, receive advance information on campaign details, register for the June 9th virtual launch event, and sign up for a free evaluation. Descriptions of tiered pricing and equipment options will be forthcoming as well as details about other incentives available in 2021.

“On behalf of the Climate Reality Project of Coastal Georgia, we are excited to support the initiative to bring affordable and accessible solar options to residents of Savannah and surrounding areas,” said Liz Sargent.  “Coastal residents experience climate change in a very real way and this program will give my neighbors and I a real way to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Solarize Savannah is open to all property owners in Chatham Co., and follows a campaign model that has been successful in more than 300 other communities across the country. A tiered “bulk” purchasing platform allows for more participation from local residents and businesses, which means more savings for everyone.  Solarize Savannah is unique in its additional focus on equitable workforce development in the solar industry and affordability initiatives. 

“The Harambee House has worked with communities suffering from overwhelming energy burdens and poorly insulated housing since its founding.,” said Dawud Shabaka with the Harambee House. “We are excited to partner with Solarize Savannah and its possibilities to grow a solar workforce and initiate programs to provide energy efficiency and weatherization for the Savannah homes that require this renovation.  Building a 21st Century workforce based on green technology and improving the energy efficiency of all homes paves the way for solar technology to take hold and flourish in the Savannah and coastal regions, while moving Georgia toward an economy based on renewable energy and an environment that is healthy and sustainable.”

Workforce Development

The Solarize committee included a goal of fostering local workforce development in order to create long-lasting pathways to clean energy jobs in the new clean energy economy. 

“Partnership for Southern Equity is proud to serve as a community partner for the Solarize campaign,'' said Chandra Farley, Just Energy Director with Partnership for Southern Equity. “Our energy equity goals aim to ensure that the benefits of clean energy are available to all. With a goal to cultivate a sense of community participation and ownership in the clean energy market, the Solarize campaign in Savannah presents a unique opportunity to uplift energy equity by removing barriers to rooftop solar.

Affordability

Going solar can decrease energy and economic burdens for all participants, especially for low- and moderate-income community members that are disproportionately made up of people of color. Another priority for the Solarize committee is to create deeper cost reductions for solar energy for low- and moderate-income community members via fundraising and financing. 

"Solar power can cut energy bills in half, but few low-income families have access,” said Daniel Blackman, Executive Committee Chair of the Sierra Club Georgia Chapter. “Clean energy programs like Solarize can be a catalyst for communities in our pursuit for a clean and equitable future for all"

Solarize Savannah organizers include City of Savannah, Climate Reality Project – Savannah, Harambee House, Ogeechee Riverkeeper, Sierra Club Georgia Chapter, Environment Georgia, Georgia Interfaith Power & Light, Solar CrowdSource.

“Solarize programs offer communities the ability to practically implement their values, to be good stewards of the environment while also saving money on their electric bills, '' said Hermina Glass-Hill, coastal engagement associate with Georgia Interfaith Power & Light. “ Solarize Savannah is the most accessible and cost effective way for individuals, businesses, congregations, and non-profits to invest in renewable energy, to make our communities more resilient, and to make a tangible difference when it comes to carbon reduction.”

Solar installer Creative Solar USA won a competitive bidding process to serve as the installer for the duration of Solarize Savannah.

"The team at Creative Solar USA is honored to have been selected as the trusted solar and battery storage installer for the Solarize Savannah program,” said Russell Seifert, CEO and Founder of Creative Solar USA. “We're excited to be able to provide high-quality, reliable, and cost-effective energy to Savannah's home and business owners.

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About Solarize Savannah: Solarize Savannah is a campaign forged and supported by a local public-private coalition involvingCity of Savannah, Climate Reality Project – Savannah, Harambee House, Ogeechee Riverkeeper, Sierra Club Georgia Chapter, Environment Georgia, Georgia Interfaith Power & Light,  and administered by Solar Crowdsource. Solarize Savannah 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.

For More Information:

Jennette Gayer, jennette@environmentgeorgia.org, c-703-475-3228

Jillian Eller, jillian.eller@sierraclub.org, 814-4706566