Solarize Salisbury-Rowan to Save Residents Money

09/30/14 by Juanita Teschner

An innovative program to help individuals and businesses save on electricity costs will be available to residents of Salisbury, Rowan County and the surrounding area until the end of the year.

Solarize Salisbury-Rowan is a community initiative designed to inform residents of the advantages of solar power for their homes and businesses and to reduce costs through competitive bids by pre-approved installers , thereby streamlining the process. It is a partnership between SmartPower, a national non-profit organization focusing on clean energy, and the Center for the Environment at Catawba College.

Expectations of success are high for Solarize Salisbury-Rowan since North Carolina boasts a 35 percent state tax incentive in addition to the 30 percent federal tax credit  -- making solar a smart investment and a proven way to lower energy bills.  However, the tax incentives will soon expire so officials counsel residents who are interested in installing a solar power system to act soon.

Over the next 25 years an average resident can be expected to pay about $36,000 in electricity bills.  With solar costing only around $9,000, this investment would save a homeowner about $25,000 on electricity bills during that period. A no-money down loan affords residents and business owners the opportunity to purchase solar with no upfront costs, but will still save thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the solar energy system.

When customers go onto the Solarize Salisbury-Rowan website, they will be linked to an on-line “solar marketplace” that has pre-screened and qualified local installers to participate in the program. By visiting the site they can learn how much their home or businesses will save by going solar. From there, they can decide if they want quotes from participating North Carolina installers. When they are satisfied with the quote, they may ask installers to make on-site assessments, which will provide a more precise solar system recommendation.

“If you’ve ever thought about looking into solar power, this is the time to do it,” says Brian F. Keane, President of SmartPower, the non-profit organization that is running Solarize Salisbury-Rowan. “Through our award-winning, on-the-ground outreach, combined with our on-line ‘solar marketplace,’ we think Solarize Salisbury-Rowan will break new records and become a new leader in residential solar adoption.”

Dr. John Wear, Center for the Environment executive director, notes that the campaign provides numerous benefits to the community and its residents. “We’re creating a solar community market for area citizens and business owners, much like a farmers’ market,” he says.  “It’s a community service that will save people money and help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels at the same time.”

Solarize Salisbury-Rowan is available to all Rowan County residents, as well as others who live in the region, until December 31. “Time is running out because the tax incentives will soon expire,” says Lane Wallace, Solarize Salisbury-Rowan’s community outreach manager.  “Now is the time to act.”

Residents and businesses interested in learning more about Solarize Salisbury-Rowan can contact Wallace at lwallace@smartpower.org or call (704) 637-4727 or visit www.SolarizeSalisbury-Rowan.com.

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About SmartPower:

SmartPower is an award-winning nonprofit organization that works on behalf of municipalities, utilities, businesses, foundations, state agencies and the federal government to turbo-charge energy efficiency and renewable energy efforts. Through innovative on-the-ground campaigns using friendly competitions and challenges, SmartPower is able to create measureable results and save energy. (www.smartpower.org)

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