The City of Edmonds recently participated in a collaborative effort including Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (Northwest SEED), Snohomish County PUD and a team of volunteers from Lynnwood, Edmonds and Woodway on the Solarize South County program. This was a time-limited initiative designed to help single-family homeowners and small businesses purchase solar panels via a streamlined process and group discount. As part of the program, A&R Solar, a PUD-registered solar installer, was selected by a volunteer committee through a competitive process. Participants in the initiative were not only eligible for a group discount, but also for the PUD’s Solar Express rebate of up to $2,500 for residential customers and up to $10,000 for small businesses, along with federal and state incentives for solar energy. The program included several community workshops, which not only helped get the word out about the program itself, but also provided education about the benefits of solar to individuals throughout the community.
The Solarize South County program was a great success resulting in 25 contracts for solar installations throughout Edmonds, Lynnwood, Woodway, Mountlake Terrace, and Brier. Edmonds took the lead with 15 of those contracts being within our city limits, one of which was for a multi-family building and one for a commercial business. Overall, the Solarize South County program resulted in the installation of over 140 kilowatts of solar arrays for an annual savings of approximately 96.5 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. This is roughly equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 20 passenger vehicles or the carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of over 100,000 pounds of coal. The Solarize program added to what also a banner year for solar installations in Edmonds:
|Year||# of Solar Parmits||kW Installed|
A&R Solar was incredibly happy with the positive response from the community on the Solarize South County program:
“For us the program was a great success. It is amazing to come to know the people, places, and passions that create a real community. There are so many people working together to make their place in the world a better place to live. It is a great honor to be a part of that effort in these communities.”
Thanks in part to the Solarize South County program as well as other recent solar programs, solar installations are on the rise in Edmonds. In 2012, three building permits were issued for solar installations. In 2013, that number doubled to six building permits for solar installations. But in 2014, the number of permits soared to 39, and an additional three permits have already been issued for 2015!
What our neighbors are saying about solar.
The following quotes were provided by participants of the Solarize South County program in response to a survey performed by Northwest SEED:
“I am new to solar, but had friends that had taken the plunge. The program assembled all the pieces I needed to jump in.”
“I wanted to do it for sure, but didn't think we'd be able to afford it for quite a while. Solarize made the up-front cost more affordable so we could start enjoying the long-term benefits.”
“We never considered a solar system and had no plans to install one. We heard about the Solarize program and attended a webinar. It was solely because of the program that we are now installing solar and are very happy to have the opportunity.”
“Would not have done it without the Solarize program. Just would not have put the time into all the needed research & effort. And the discounts were a factor also.”
A&R Solar gives back to the community in a big way.
As part of the Solarize South County program, A&R Solar pledged to donate a solar energy system to Edmonds Lutheran Church and Annie’s Community Kitchen, which was selected by the community to be the recipient of this award. Annie’s Community Kitchen is a service of Edmonds Lutheran Church that has been providing a free hot meal once a week to the community for over ten years. Thanks to those who participated in the Solarize South County program, A&R Solar will donate a solar array of 2.2 kilowatts, which has an $11,000 value. Although the Solarize South County program has formally ended, A&R Solar has pledged to increase the size of their donation to Edmonds Lutheran Church if additional participants sign contracts with A&R by January 31st.
For additional information on the Solarize program, please visit www.solarizewa.org. To learn more about A&R Solar, visit www.a-rsolar.com. Information on Edmonds Lutheran Church and Annie’s Community Kitchen can be found at http://www.edmondslutheran.org/