Sally Pick: Challenge: Can Solarize Northampton reach Tier 5?
To the editor:
As the coordinator for the Solarize Mass program in Montague last year, I’m so pleased to hear that Solarize Northampton has gotten off to a sprinting start this summer, reaching the second lowest possible Tier 4 pricing in the blink of an eye. Nineteen residents/businesses have already contracted for solar electric systems (photovoltaics or PV) through the program.
Solarize prices start extremely low, and they get even lower as more people sign up. For those able to buy or finance a PV system, the low purchase costs and terrific incentives make for a quick payback on your investment, and then ongoing savings and income.
And this year’s Solarize Northampton program brings additional incentives to homeowners signing up for a Power Purchase Agreement, where you lease your roof for a low or no cost PV installation. In return, you get guaranteed electricity prices that are lower than the current rate for the 20-year period of the lease, and you receive an incentive that is larger as more people contract for PV under the Solarize program. The incentive is already up to $750 for a typical 5 kilowatt PV system. This makes solar affordable to most homeowners and businesses, even if their budget does not allow for purchasing a solar array.
Last year, Montague residents, farmers and small businesses more than doubled the number of solar PV systems in our community, with enough people contracting for PV to secure Tier 4 pricing. I challenge Northampton to reach Tier 5, the lowest pricing offered by the Solarize program, besting Montague’s community involvement. Encourage your family, friends, neighbors, and Northampton businesses to sign up by Sept. 30 to take advantage of this deal and drive the price down for all who participate. For information and an online form to sign up for a free quote, visit www.SolarizeNorthampton.com. Best of luck!