Residents in six Kearsarge-area towns have a unique opportunity to go solar this spring, thanks to Solarize Kearsarge, a volunteer-led program featuring a pre-vetted installer, and discounts that grow as more residents sign on.
“The federal solar tax credit will shrink from 30% to 26% after the end of 2019,” explained Jamie Hess, a Solarize volunteer and president of Kearsarge Climate Action, “so it was already a good year to go solar. With the Solarize Kearsarge discounts, there has literally never been a better time to consider switching to solar-electric power.”
Homeowners in Andover, New London, Newbury, Sutton, Warner, and Wilmot have until May 31 to request a free solar site visit from Granite State Solar, the Bow-based installer selected by Solarize Kearsarge volunteers earlier this year. The site visit will determine the feasibility and cost of a solar-electric, or photovoltaic, system on the homeowner’s property.
To help spread the word, a Solarize Kearsarge kick-off public event will be held on Saturday, April 13, at 10 AM, at Ivey Science Center on the campus of Colby-Sawyer College in New London. Interested residents can also find more information and sign up for a free solar site visit at VitalCommunities.org/Solarize.
This spring’s campaign follows an earlier Solarize Kearsarge effort in 2014, resulting in 38 new solar homes in Andover, New London, and Wilmot. Volunteers working on the region’s 2019 push hope to solarize at least 50 more homes this year.
Both campaigns are part of a larger initiative led by Vital Communities to help homeowners across the Upper Valley go solar. In 2014 and 2015, 370 homes were solarized in 25 Upper Valley towns thanks to various Solarize campaigns, a model that has since been successfully copied by communities across Maine and New Hampshire.
The Solarize campaign follows on the heels of the Weatherize Kearsarge project, also coordinated by Vital Communities. That project offered residents of the same six towns an opportunity to have their homes weather-sealed and insulated by experienced area contractors at reduced costs, often with financial assistance. The opportunity to participate in that project ended in late March.