During the summer of 2020, 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 2020 Solarize Piedmont campaign ran June 15 – August 31.
Stay tuned for a 2021 campaign!
Want to look into local solar options in the meantime? Here’s a list of installers who do work in the Piedmont.
Do you live in Albemarle, Charlottesville, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange or Rappahannock? If yes, Solarize Piedmont is the campaign for you. Here’s information on how to participate:
1. SIGN UP
Get started by filling out our online form to get a free assessment to determine if your home is a good candidate for solar. There is absolutely no commitment until, and if, you sign a contract with an installer.
2. RECEIVE A SATELLITE ASSESSMENT
After you fill out the form, staff from LEAP will perform a satellite assessment of your property (via Google Earth) to determine its suitability for a solar array. You will be contacted with the results within 3-5 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.
3. SEND IN A COPY OF YOUR ELECTRIC BILL
If your property is a good candidate for solar, LEAP will ask you to share a copy of your prior year’s electric usage by email or text. Email a screenshot or pdf to firstname.lastname@example.org. This step helps the installer to determine the optimal size system for your home.
4. SCHEDULE VISIT WITH AN INSTALLER
Through a comprehensive and competitive bidding process, we selected two qualified local solar installers for the campaign. Once your electric bill is in hand, we’ll forward your contact information on to one of them. Within three to five days, that installer will contact you to schedule a free site visit to your home to create a proposal tailored for you, your budget, and your home’s energy needs. Sometimes a preliminary proposal is sent using software.
5. GET A PROPOSAL
Photo by the Local Energy Alliance Program.
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. Your solar installer can also talk you through financing scenarios.
6. SIGN THE PROPOSAL
Decide whether the proposal, pricing and financing options are right for you. This may involve a back and forth with the installer to further tailor your options. If you aren’t able to move forward right away, at least you have a better idea of your options!
Two regional, qualified solar installers, Prospect Solar and SunDaySolar, have been selected for the 2019 Solarize Piedmont campaign. Your installer will obtain all necessary permits, order the materials and equipment, and manage the work.
8. WATCH YOUR METER RUN BACKWARD
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.
If you live in Virginia, but do not live in PEC’s service territory, and would like to know if there are Solarize options near you, please fill out the interest form at www.solarizenova.org/other-localities.