Press Release: Solarize Charlottesville Makes Solar Easy and Affordable

Summer Deals for Homeowners to Add Rooftop Solar

Charlottesville, Virginia – Starting today and through September 2014, solar power for homes will be easier and more affordable than ever thanks to Solarize Charlottesville, a new program that offers bulk purchasing discounts and free solar site assessments. It is a limited-time, one-stop-shop for community members to learn more about solar power options for their homes and facilitate the installation and financing of their own project.

This grassroots, community-based outreach initiative is sponsored by the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) in partnership with the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the UVA Community Credit Union. Charlottesville and Albemarle homeowners will be encouraged throughout the summer to “Soak up the sun. Soak up the savings.”

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Key Points

·      Easy. Homeowners in Charlottesville and Albemarle can get started with a simple online application, take advantage of a free home energy check up and on-site solar assessment, and have until September 30 to sign a contract and lock in the discounts.

·      Affordable. The foundation of Solarize Charlottesville is community participation. When a community decides to rally behind solar, local installers are able to lower their prices. This is a result of bulk purchasing, offset marketing expenses, reduced travel expenses, and the guarantee that solar installation crews will be kept busy.

·      Discounts. The local contractors taking part in Solarize Charlottesville are Altenergy and Sigora Solar; they will be offering the same systems at the same prices – which are lower than we’ve ever seen in Virginia (likely a 15-18% discount).

·      More Savings.  In addition to Solarize discounts, LEAP will help participants access a 30% federal tax credit, affordable financing as low as 2.99% APR* through UVA Community Credit Union (City of Charlottesville homeowners may even qualify for 0% APR* loans), and navigate the Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) market.

·      Best Deal. A small 3kW system that might cost $12,000 normally will be reduced to $6,900 (first through the Solarize discounts and then with the federal tax credit)

·      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. Now is the time to lock in low electricity rates with solar.

·      Proven. Similar, successful programs are underway in Blacksburg and Richmond.


Quotes from Solarize Partners

Cynthia Adams, Executive Director, Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP):

“With Solarize Charlottesville you’ve got a limited time to score an unprecedented deal on solar power for your home. By adding solar to your home’s energy mix, you can lock in savings and make your roof part of our clean energy future.”


Satyendra Huja, City of Charlottesville Mayor:

“Solarize Charlottesville is an exciting opportunity for our residents to embrace long-term energy savings, preserve natural resources, and gain the benefit of powering their homes with the sun. As we enter into long summer days and hot weather, it feels good to realize that we as a community can use the sun to cool our homes and help reduce stress and blackouts on the electric grid.”


Jane Dittmar, the Chair of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors:

“We welcome this partnership with LEAP to provide our residents with an opportunity to explore and potentially utilize alternative energy solutions in their homes.”


Alison DeTuncq, President/CEO, UVA Community Credit Union:

“We’re committed to helping our community members find ways to save energy, save money and improve their homes. As such, we’re excited to offer low-cost PowerSaver Loans to homeowners to support this initiative.”



*Annual Percentage Rate. See for details.