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

Do you live in Albemarle, Charlottesville, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange or Rappahannock? If yes, Solarize Piedmont is the campaign for you. The first step is to fill out the online sign-up form on our website >>


Photo by Paula Combs.

After you fill out the form, a Solarize Piedmont Energy Consultant will perform a satellite assessment (via Google Earth) of your property to determine its suitability for a solar array. We’ll contact you with the results within 2-4 days. Primarily we’re looking for a good location for the solar panels. Most are installed on roofs, so a generally south-facing roof that isn’t shaded by adjacent trees is perfect. Ground-mounted systems are an option for fields or yards that get plenty of sun.

If you have a good site, we’ll then forward your contact information to one of the participating 2017 Solarize Piedmont installers. 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 two qualified local solar contractors for the campaign - to be assigned randomly to participants. After a detailed review of your property and your goals, your contractor will provide a proposal for turnkey services including site visits, permits, materials, installation, and commissioning. From start to finish, the whole process usually takes a few months.
 

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 http://programs.dsireusa.org/system/program/detail/40. 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 

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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.