Going solar with a group makes switch cheaper

By Bill Sheets

Joan Schrammeck not only has a $461 credit on her electricity bill, the state of Washington owes her $800 as well.

That’s because she generates power at her Camano Island home with solar panels, sells some of it back into the grid and also is given credits by the state for the power she produces.

“I’m thrilled, and I’m thrilled to be helping strengthen the grid,” said Schrammeck, whose solar panels were installed in May.

Schrammeck was not only interested in putting a solar power system on her own home, she wanted to help others get it done, too. That’s why she volunteered as an organizer for Solarize Stanwood-Camano, in which 23 residents signed up for solar installations as a group, saving the contractors money and in turn knocking about 10 percent off the price.

People signed up for the program earlier in the year and most of the installations have now been completed, Schrammeck said.

A similar program is now under way in Mukilteo. Others could come later, depending on interest.

The Snohomish County Public Utility District is working with Northwest Seed, a Seattle nonprofit organization that promotes green power, to get the groups started and sort through the options.


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Appeared in Everett Herald on September 22, 2012.

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