Solarize Piedmont

Solarize Piedmont

During the spring of 2018, 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), the Northern Virginia Regional Commission and the Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission to bring solar power to more people in the Commonwealth. 

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, farm, or business, this is your opportunity to find out if it will work for you and take advantage of some very competitive pricing.

Our next campaign will run during April & May 2018

Stay tuned for more details! If you want to look into solar right away, PEC has put together a list of solar installers who do work in the Piedmont. 

LEAP Logo NVRC Logo PEC Logo


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 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 two qualified local solar installers for the 2018 Solarize Piedmont campaign. Once you sign up and have the initial satellite assessment completed by LEAP, one of the two installers will be assigned to make a site visit to gather all the information necessary and provide you with a proposal. If you go to contract, the installer will obtain all necessary permits, order materials and equipment, and schedule your installation.

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. 


Solarize Logo

-- Learn more about Solarize >>

-- See PEC's solar system >>

Want to talk to someone before signing up for your solar assessment? Email Bri West, PEC at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions!

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