EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — Solarize Evansville is a non-profit volunteer initiative seeking to educate the public about solar energy and streamlining the process for residents in Evansville and surrounding areas.
The group’s first public meeting is Wednesday at 6pm at EVPL Central Browning Room A.
The group says local property owners considering installing solar panels could receive a discount by attending a meeting.
It is modeled on the Solarize Indiana initiative and similar efforts in other Indiana communities.
“The idea is to encourage the growth of solar power by eliminating the hassle of requesting bids from multiple installers and advising interested property owners about the process,” said Erin Lasher, one of the Solarize Evansville team members.
“The process becomes easier because Solarize Evansville has already done the work of soliciting the contractor bids,” Lasher said.
The program works by bringing together a large number of customers with an already vetted contractor who can offer a reduced price because of the higher volume of sales and savings in marketing costs.
However, in order to participate, residents must attend one of the three upcoming public meetings. This gives Solarize Evansville an opportunity to provide education about solar energy.
Those who attend a meeting will hear from a representative of Morton Solar and from area homeowners who already have solar power.
“The key is education. That is what it is all about,” Morton said. “Until recently, society didn’t think solar would work here. Solar is becoming the thing to do now as people learn and understand more about it.”
At the end of the meetings, Solarize Evansville will distribute letter of intent forms to be filled out by those interested in installing solar panels. The forms are only available at the meetings.
Although Solarize Evansville is not involved in the actual contracts, Lasher said they are there to advise people and will review contracts to ensure they are within the financial parameters of the initiative. Lasher said participants save an average of 10-12%.
That is in addition to the 30% federal tax credit, which will begin to phase out after this year, and Indiana’s net metering benefit, which gives homeowners credit for the extra electricity they produce.
Two other public meeting dates are scheduled for:
July 23 at 6 p.m. at EVPL Oaklyn Meeting Room
August 3 at 1 p.m. at EVPL McCollough Meeting Room
(This story was originally published on July 9, 2019)