Chatham Farmers, Business Owners, & Residents: Cost Share & Discounts for Solar Power

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Grassroots Solar Revolution Comes to Chatham

The Solarize model originated in Portland, Oregon in 2009 as a grassroots effort to greatly increase installation and affordability of rooftop solar electricity through neighbor-to-neighbor outreach and bulk purchasing discounts. Solarize has proven highly successful in dozens of communities across the country. Now, the Durham climate and energy nonprofit NC WARN has brought Solarize to Chatham County. Anyone in the county can participate – just sign up by July 31 at the Solarize NC website.

Homeowners and business owners are able to purchase solar power systems for prices up to 32% below retail rates. State and federal tax credits can offset about 60% of the total system cost and the savings on your monthly power bill start immediately. The SunSense program for Duke Energy-Progress customers offers additional savings with an upfront rebate and monthly payments.

Farms and rural small businesses participating in Solarize can also apply for USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which offers 25% cost-share grants toward the purchase of renewable energy and efficiency equipment. More information on REAP grants is available on their website. John Bonitz of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has offered to provide guidance to those seriously considering applying for a REAP grant. Email him at bonitz@cleanenergy.org.

The first step is to sign up for a free, no-obligation solar assessment by the Solarize Chatham installers: Southern Energy Management of Morrisville and Yes! Solar Solutions of Cary, two of North Carolina’s top solar installers. Your installer will propose a system customized to your needs and walk you through the whole process.

For residential customers, Solarize offers tiered pricing, so the more people who participate, the cheaper your price will be. The already discounted price could drop as much as 10% more.

If the program meets its goal of 75 rooftop solar installations, Solarize Chatham will donate free solar panels to a Chatham nonprofit to be chosen by Solarize participants. NC WARN is also pioneering a way to share solar power with low-income homeowners.

Free information sessions on the Solarize Chatham program will be held around the county:

  • July 2, 7-8:30 p.m. at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, Pittsboro
  • July 8, 6-8 p.m. at the West Chatham Senior Center, 112 Village Lake Road, Siler City (in the Siler City Business Center)

For a complete schedule of events, as well as a signup form and details on pricing, financing, tax credits and more, visit the Solarize NC website or contact them for more information at info@solarize-nc.org or 919-416-5077.

For more information:

Solarize NC

NC WARN

REAP Grants FAQs