Solar energy is currently powering hundreds of Seattle homes, and residents of Ballard, Wallingford, Phinney Ridge, Green Lake, and other northwest Seattle neighborhoods are about to get a special opportunity to add their roof to our 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 Development (Northwest SEED) and Seattle City Light are working with a host of community groups to launch Solarize Seattle: Northwest, a solar energy education and installation program that starts today and will culminate on April 22, Earth Day.
Solarize Seattle: Northwest will be the sixth campaign of Northwest SEED’s Solarize Washington program (www.solarizewa.org). 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.
The program will be co-led by a community coalition of local volunteers, which will spearhead outreach and provide neighborhood resources to interested parties. Supporting organizations include the Phinney Neighborhood Association, Sustainable Greenwood-Phinney, Phinney Ridge Community Council, Greenwood Community Council, Green Lake Community Council, Sustainable Ballard, Meaningful Movies Project, and Sustainable Seattle.
Through a competitive bidding process, the Solarize Seattle: Northwest Community Coalition selected Artisan Electric and Puget Sound Solar as the project’s solar installation team. Artisan Electric and Puget Sound Solar will offer solar systems at discounted rates to project participants.
Nearly 300 Northwest Seattle residents have already indicated early interest in Solarize Seattle: Northwest. The limited-time campaign intends to install over 200 kilowatts of solar energy in Northeast Seattle by summer of 2013. Northwest SEED’s first three Solarize campaigns in 2011 and 2012 resulted in a 50 percent increase in Seattle’s solar installation rate and injected more than $2.5 million into the local solar economy.
Registration for Solarize Seattle: Northwest opens Wednesday, Jan. 16. Registration is open to Northwest Seattle residents in 98103, 98107, 98117, 98133, and 98177 zip codes. Free educational workshops will be held on Jan. 26, Feb. 20, March 16, and April 6. 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.
About Seattle City Light: Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction. www.seattle.gov/light.