Dec. 2, 2022
Final Month for Residents to Seek Group-Buying Savings on Solar Energy and Battery Storage
With a Dec. 31 deadline ahead to sign up for a free solar energy assessment, Solarize the Triangle has reached another lower-cost tier in its discount price offering to property owners in the Region.
The community-based group-buying program – developed by 11 local governments in the Triangle – has already enrolled 1,070 property owners seeking proposals for solar-energy systems.
To date, 546 kW of renewable solar power – more than half a megawatt – has been purchased through the program, which launched in August and has achieved 59 homeowner contracts to date.
Once these installations are completed, over 1 million per year in pounds of CO2 will have been avoided in the Region. This is the equivalent of 100 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles driven for one year.
In late November, the community-led campaign successfully reached its 4th price tier ($2.92/watt) among eight tiers in all. The more residents and business owners who contract for solar installations through the Solarize program, the more savings accrue for all participants through these price tiers.
If the final Tier 8 is reached, all homeowners who purchase systems during the campaign, regardless of when, will be able to access the lowest price available through the program ($2.65 /watt).
Enrollment – which is to simply sign up for a free, no-obligation assessment of your property’s potential for solar – will continue through Dec. 31 at solarizethetriangle.com.
The Triangle Sustainability Partnership, a local government partnership of 11 communities, created the initiative to enable residents and businesses to save on the typical cost of solar energy and battery power. When property owners join with others to purchase simultaneously across the Triangle, significant discounts compared to ordinary market costs can be achieved. The availability of a federal tax credit of 30 percent improves the economics of solar energy even further.
Homeowner Association Guidance
Since many Triangle property owners live in communities where homeowner association rules apply, there is often confusion about whether and how solar systems are allowed on residential rooftops. To help clarify the current regulatory landscape involving HOAs, an upcoming free informational event is being organized via the Solarize the Triangle campaign. Date, time and other details about this online event will be available here.
All interested property owners may go to solarizethetriangle.com anytime to learn more about the program and sign up for a free, no-obligation evaluation. There are also online info sessions continuously available for viewing at solarizethetriangle.com.
Solar and battery installations from the program are expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2023.
The objectives of Solarize the Triangle include:
● Making solar energy more affordable: lower the cost of solar energy through the power of group-purchasing and reduced acquisition costs. Savings passed to residents of the Triangle region;
● Making solar energy more accessible: contractor(s), materials and pricing will be highly vetted for best practices using a competitive bid process;
● Education and community engagement: widespread community engagement, education and outreach activities through town hall meetings, workshops, solar “open house” gatherings, and outreach through local community groups and events;
● Promoting solar-positive policies: encourage local governments to adopt streamlined solar energy permitting policies and fair utility distributed generation policies; and
● Giving back: Solarize the Triangle and selected contractors will use a portion of campaign proceeds to donate a solar energy system to a deserving local nonprofit organization and/or help to underwrite solar-energy systems for qualified low- and moderate-income families with high energy burdens.
Helping to facilitate the program on behalf of the members is The Triangle J Council of Governments and Solar CrowdSource. The program’s installer, selected and vetted through a competitive bidding process, is Yes Solar Solutions, a Cary-based, fully-licensed NC general contractor with more than 1,600 projects installed.
About Solarize the Triangle: Solarize the Triangle is a campaign developed via the Triangle J Council of Governments. Communities involved include: Chatham County, City of Raleigh, Durham County, City of Durham, Town of Cary, Town of Chapel Hill, Town of Hillsborough, Town of Carrboro, Town of Apex, Town of Morrisville and Orange County. Lowering 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 is the objective of the campaign, which launched in August 2022.