As part of the RVAgreen Sustainability Plan, the Richmond Region Energy Alliance has created SolarizeRVA, a program designed to increase the use of solar energy in and around Richmond.
SolarizeRVA is working to make Richmond more environmentally sustainable by helping homeowners band together to invest in solar energy through a buying program that runs through July 15. In the spirit of companies such as Costco, SolarizeRVA is emphasizing the importance of community by contracting solar installations in bulk. Homeowners will save money as more people sign up for this project. Anyone living in the Richmond region can participate.
“We are bringing solar power to the Richmond community, neighbor-to-neighbor,” says executive director Bill Greenleaf. “By combining our collective buying power and educating residents on the benefits of solar [power], SolarizeRVA has the potential to impact how we produce energy.”
SolarizeRVA has streamlined the process, making tough choices—like pre-qualifying contractors—so homeowners don’t have to. In addition, they are providing home assessments, which determine the size of individual solar power systems, for free. Those who decide to install solar will also receive a 30 percent federal tax credit.
Despite these incentives, Greenleaf says the majority of interested homeowners are doing it to lessen their carbon footprint. “We’re finding the majority of the people signing up on our website are doing so for environmental reasons,” he says. “Occasionally it will be because of rising energy bills, but 99 percent of the people filling out contact forms seem to be doing it for the environment.”
About 300 people are expected to sign up on SolarizeRVA’s website, where they can express interest in the project without signing any final contracts. So far, only a month into the campaign, 145 people have signed up.
SolarizeRVA will hold several informational workshops about the program: June 11 at Clover Hill Library at 6 p.m.; June 18 at Tuckahoe Library at 6 p.m.; and June 19 at Ashland Public Library at 6 p.m. A SolarizeRVA prequalified solar installer will also be on hand to answer your questions. RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and indicating which workshop you plan to attend.