Solarize Piedmont

Solarize Piedmont

During the spring of 2016, residents and businesses within PEC's 9-county service area can take advantage of Solarize Piedmont --a cooperative program with The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC), Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission to bring solar power to more people in the Commonwealth. The Solarize program is a grassroots effort that has been successful in communities across Virginia.

The benefits of solar power are multi-fold: providing peak power close to the demand, energy security, cost savings, local employment opportunities, and emissions reductions. If you live in PEC's service territory and have been thinking about putting solar power on your home or farm, this is your opportunity to find out if it will work for you and take advantage of some very competitive pricing.

The deadline to sign up for our spring campaign was June 30, 2016.

If you signed up, but haven't yet completed your initial paperwork... it's not too late to send it in! Not sure where you left off? Email Bri West at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.

LEAP Logo NVRC Logo PEC Logo


1. Get a free assessment to determine if your home is a good candidate for solar

The first step will be to fill out the online form on our website >>

Photo by Paula Combs.

Once you fill out the form, you will receive documents by email to review and complete. You will need to fill out a letter of interest and send us utility usage data from the last 12 months. Why do we need this information? The Letter of Interest lets us know you’’ve taken the time to familiarize yourself with the program, and we are more than happy to answer any questions you have. The utility data will be used by the installer to estimate power offset from solar generation and relative payback of your system. Please know that we will keep your utility information private and will not share it with anyone other than your installer.

After we receive the letter of interest and usage data via email, a LEAP staff person will perform an initial satellite assessment and then will contact you with basic results on your roof’s solar potential (or yard or field for pole-mounted arrays). If you have a good location for panels, LEAP staff will pass along your information to the participating Solarize Piedmont installer. That installer will schedule the free solar site assessment to create a proposal tailored for you, your budget, and your home’s energy needs. 

2. Leverage the Solarize discount and local financing

Take advantage of the power of bulk purchasing and the 30% federal tax credit to purchase your solar system.

Solarize Piedmont participants will also have access to innovative financing mechanisms designed specifically for solar energy systems. Through Admirals Bank, you can take advantage of Solar StepDown and Solar Plus Loans. These solar loans can be combined to finance up to 30% of your solar system at 0% over 18 months and the remaining 70% (capped at $25,000) can be financed with fixed interest rates between 4.95% – 9.95% over 20 years.

3. Install Panels

Through a comprehensive and competitive bidding process, we selected a local and qualified solar installer. This contractor will make a site visit to gather all the information necessary, obtain all necessary permits, order materials and equipment, and schedule your installation. Installation usually takes a few days.

4. Generate electricity for use or sell back to utility

Once your system is up and running, you use electricity as it is generated and sell back any surplus electricity to the utility. Through “net energy metering,” you get a one-to-one, kilowatt hour-for-kilowatt hour credit on your bill for every unit of electricity produced and put back on the electric grid.

Learn more at The electric utility will never pay you for the solar energy, they just credit your account. The credits are good for 12 months, so a sunny summer can be saving money for you in the winter.

5. Start saving on utility bills 

Photo by the Local Energy Alliance Program.

Buying a solar PV system is an investment in the future. Although buying a solar PV system may require an upfront payment, it can deliver significant energy cost savings for years to come. A number of factors determine what a system will cost and how much you can save over time, including the future price of electricity and how long your system operates. By combining utility net metering credits for the power you generate, federal tax incentives and low-interest financing, you could realize long-term cost savings over the life of your solar PV system. The more electricity prices climb, the faster you’ll see savings.


Through the power of our community, we’ve made going solar more affordable than ever. With that said, solar installations come with upfront costs and it’s important to think of your solar panels as an investment — and what a great investment it is!

After a comprehensive and competitive bidding process, LEAP selected a qualified local solar installer. Once you get started, the installer will make a site visit to gather all the information necessary, obtain all necessary permits, order materials and equipment, and schedule your installation. Installation usually takes a few days.

Get started by filling out our online form and getting a free assessment to determine if your home is a good candidate for solar.

In 2016, The Piedmont Environmental Council had 38 solar photovoltaic panels installed on the roof of our newly renovated and expanded headquarters office. 

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