By Bruce Reed
Solar energy is currently powering hundreds of Seattle homes, and residents of Southend Seattle neighborhoods are about to get a special opportunity to add their rooftops to our city’s growing solar array. Through a nonprofit-led program called Solarize Seattle, homes and small businesses can qualify for special pricing and take advantage of many incentives that make solar installations more affordable than ever.
Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Developmentt (Northwest SEED) and Seattle City Light are working with several community groups to launch Solarize Seattle: Central/Southeast, a solar energy education and installation program that starts today and runs through October. The program will be co-led by a community coalition of local volunteers, which will spearhead neighborhood outreach. Supporting organizations include Sustainable Seattle, Sustainable Capitol Hill, and Sustainable Central District.
The campaign features a group-buy program that provides a streamlined process for residents and small businesses to purchase solar systems for a discounted price. Participants learn how solar works in Seattle, how it is installed, what tax and production incentives are available to bring the price down, and how low-interest financing can spread out the cost. To date, Solarize Washington campaigns have educated over 1,750 people at public workshops, encouraged nearly 300 residents to install solar on their homes, and injected more than $7.5 million into the local solar economy.
Registration is open to Seattle residents who live in the geographic area bordered by the Montlake cut to the north, I-5 to the west, Lake Washington to the east, and the City of Seattle boundary to the south. Free educational workshops will be held on Jul. 23, Aug. 15, Aug. 27, and Sep. 18. For more information, visit www.solarizewa.org.
About Northwest SEED: Northwest SEED is a non-profit organization that empowers community scale clean energy through expert guidance that combines technical support, community education and practical implementation.www.nwseed.org.