Solarize with Faith

Solarize with Faith at
Unitarian-Universalist Society: East

To help preserve the Earth for your grandchildren and others, you can buy electricity for your home from 100% clean, renewable electricity providers by going to http://www.energizect.com/compare-energy-suppliers. But you can protect the Earth and your wallet by putting solar panels on your home now.

Currently, the lowest “generation” rate for clean electricity is about $0.09 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for service that has no signup or cancellation fees and whose rate is fixed for a year. However, there are other charges based upon your energy use, such as transmission and distribution charges, and these add another $.08 per kWh to your generation rates to give $0.17 per kWh in total.  So if you use 1000 kWh a month, you would pay $170 a month or $2040 for your first year.

Looking further into the future requires some assumptions. Assuming these electric rates increase at the long-term, historic rate of 3% per year (Connecticut’s rate increase since 2001 has only been a tenth of that rate, according to the US Energy Information Agency, see http://goo.gl/Hm1W9t ), you would pay $74,377 for your electricity over the next 25 years.

That is a lot of money that you would not have to pay, if you had solar panels that generated 1000 kWh a month on average. How much would this solar panel system cost? After subtracting state and federal incentives, you can buy such a system for $21,000 from Sunlight Solar—our endorsed solar installer for the Solarize with Faith campaign. (You are free to get estimates from any installer.)

Is this a wise purchase? Yes! You would save $2040 in your first year and over $4,000 in your 25th year. One can calculate your rate of return on this $21,000 “investment” and it is over 11% (or 9%, if electric rates increase at the same rate as the last 15 years). Solar panels are a wise purchase, even if you have to take out a loan to pay for them and there are very good loan options available in the Solarize with Faith campaign.

Sign up for a site visit by going to www.SolarizeCT.com/faith and choose “Solarize with Faith” as your community of residence. To learn more about solar power and possible savings, you can attend the next Solarize with Faith workshop, which will be given at noon on Sunday, May 21 at St. John’s Episcopal Church at 523 Hartford Turnpike in Vernon.

Solarize with Faith is a new campaign of the Solarize Connecticut program of SmartPower. Past campaigns have focused on specific towns or cities. This is a new campaign that focuses on specific faith groups as a way to spread the word about the advantages of solar power and to offer special, discount pricing on quality solar systems. As in the town focused campaigns, faith community members pick a designated solar panel installer (based upon price, reputation, quality of work, and reviews of past installations, etc.), who offers a special price on installations in exchange for this initial contact with members and publicity work by members of the faith group. Several members of UUS:E, Unitarian Society of Hartford, and Inter-Religious Ecojustice Network have selected Sunlight Solar from New Haven to be the endorsed installer, but members are encouraged to get second opinions from any of the other solar installers in CT—there are 100s—but be sure to make comparisons with equal quality components!

Who can participate? Members of UUS:E or any one attending this workshop and who owns a home in Connecticut. You can start now by simply going to SolarizeCT.com/faith and clicking on the button in the upper right corner. Fill out the form and select the “Solarize with Faith” option on the “Choose your Community” drop-down menu. You may receive a call from Dividend Solar about financing options, and you will learn more options at the workshop, and then Sunlight Solar will call you to schedule a site visit, which will access your home’s potential for solar panels. The campaign ends this summer and you must sign your contract by July 9, 2017 to get your discount rate.

What more can I learn before the workshop? You can check out some of the resources –just below “You must sign a contract by July 9th to receive the benefits of Solarize with Faith” — given near the top of the SolarizeCT.com/faith webpage or you can contact Jay Stewart, JStewart at Hartford.edu or 860-906-7737, or Chamae Munroe Mejias, cmejias at smartpower.org, 860-331-1041.