Roanoke City launches program to make solar energy more affordable, accessible to city homeowners

Solarize RoanokeFrom the City of Roanoke: At a press conference earlier today, the city officially launched Solarize Roanoke, a program designed to make solar energy affordable and accessible to homeowners. Solarize Roanoke is a partnership between the City of Roanoke, Community Housing Partners, local solar installers, Freedom First Credit Union, and local community members. The program will run until Sept. 3o. Homeowners living in the following zip codes are eligible to participate: 24011, 24012, 24013, 24014, 24015, 24016, 24017, 24018, and 24019.

(Continue reading for the rest of the news release.)

In order to make solar cost competitive with standard electricity, Solarize Roanoke combines discounts on solar installations and a 30-percent federal tax credit with affordable long-term financing.  The loan payments on a solar system for a typical house can be roughly equal to monthly electricity savings, meaning the overall cost of electricity changes very little, and homeowners are buffered from increases in electricity prices in the future.

When a homeowner is interested in going solar, Solarize Roanoke organizers first conduct a satellite site assessment to determine if the roof is a good candidate for solar panels – looking for orientation, trees and other obstructions. From there, a solar installer conducts a free solar site assessment to determine how large or small of a system is needed to provide power for the home and how much it costs.

The City of Roanoke offers a tax reduction in addition to the federal tax credits for all city residents purchasing solar equipment. By providing a bill of sale for properly installed solar equipment, a homeowner is eligible for a real estate property tax exemption for a portion of the purchase. This exemption is valid for five years thus adding to the homeowner’s savings.

A recently concluded Solarize program in Blacksburg resulted in at least 50 solar contracts on homes. Other communities around the state have followed suit, including Richmond, Charlottesville, and Arlington County.

Solarize Roanoke is a key component of the city’s wider efforts to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

The public is invited to an event on Tuesday, July 22 at 6:00 p.m. at Mountain View Recreation Center to learn more about the Solarize Roanoke Program; additional community meeting times are listed online at http://www.solarizeroanoke.org or http://www.facebook.com/solarizeroanoke.

 

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