news+events

Solarize Charlottesville 2015 Kicks Off June 22

Solar Deals Back By Popular Demand After 1,100+ Applications Last Summer

Charlottesville, Virginia –  Beginning June 22nd and running through September 22nd, 2015 , residential solar power will be more convenient and affordable than ever for area residents thanks to Solarize Charlottesville 2015, an innovative campaign that offers bulk purchasing discounts and free solar site assessments.  The program returns after shattering expectations with more than 1,100 applications last summer; to date more than 100 of them have installed solar panels on their homes resulting on over 465 kW of production. With the 30% federal tax credit set to expire at the end of 2016, this could be the last, best opportunity to go solar.

LEAP has executed successful Solarize programs in Falls Church, Herndon, Leesburg/Loudoun, Nelson County and Vienna.

The program makes going solar simple. It allows participants to learn more about solar options specific to their homes and take advantage of a streamlined installation and financing process.  LEAP has again teamed up with the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the UVA Community Credit Union to offer Solarize Charlottesville.

Area residents interested in learning more about their solar and reduced rate financing options can go online and sign-up for free to be a part of the program today! Join now at www.solarizecville.org

This year we will offer several Solarize Charlottesville events where people can hear from solar professionals, past program participants, and financing advisors. Stay tuned for more events.

  • Tour de Solarize, Community Bike Tour with Charlottesville Community Bikes
    June 27, 9-9:30am Registration;  9:30-11:30 Bike Tour;  11:30 Post-Ride Lunch & Information Question Session
    Riders can visit residential solar customers who took part in last year’s Solarize Charlottesville Campaign.
    Meet at Community Bikes on Avon St.
  • “Is Solar Right for You?”Educational Seminar
    UVA Community Credit Union, 3300 Berkmar Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22901
    Thursday, July 9  (6-7:30pm) or Saturday, August 22 (10-11:30am)     Register online at www.uvacreditunion.org or call 434-964-2001.

Solarize Charlottesville is an initiative that supports Energize!Charlottesville (energizecharlottesville.org), our community campaign to save energy and win the $5 Million Georgetown University Energy Prize. Charlottesville is 1 of 50 semifinal communities nationwide competing. To make it to the finals, we have to show the biggest reductions of purchased electricity and natural gas.

Streamlined-  Homeowners in Charlottesville and Albemarle County can get started with a simple online application and short informational webinar, take advantage of a discounted $20 Home Energy Check-Up and free solar site assessment, and have through September to sign a contract and lock in the discounts. This year, participants will be asked to sign a Letter of Intent if they meet pre-qualification standards.

Affordable-  A key aspect of this grassroots effort is community participation.  When community residents rally behind solar, local installers are able to offer lower prices to Solarize participants through bulk purchasing, reduced travel, and offset marketing costs.  Deals are expected to be discounted 15-18% .To further sweeten the deal, UVA Community Credit Union offers their PowerSaver Home Loans for solar technology and other energy efficiency or renewable energy improvements. City of Charlottesville residents are eligible for an additional reduction on PowerSaver Home Loan interest rates, down to as low as 0.00% APR.

More Savings- In addition to Solarize Charlottesville’s bulk purchasing discounts, LEAP will help participants access a 30% federal tax credit(set to expire in the end of 2016) navigate the Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) market, and apply for the City of Charlottesville solar tax credit (applicable for City residents).

Smart- The cost of solar panels has dropped 60% since 2011 according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Meanwhile, the Energy Information Administration projects a 2% annual rise in residential energy rates for the Mid-Atlantic.

Proven-  Last year’s local campaign assisted over 130 area residents navigate the process of acquiring solar and helped educate over 1,000 participants in the potential for solar and energy efficiency. Over the past year LEAP’s Solarize campaigns across the Commonwealth have assisted more than 150 Virginia homeowners in overcoming common stumbling blocks to acquiring solar.