We Have Exceeded Our Goal!
Press Release: Number of solar installations in town increases more than 50% this summer
Canterbury, NH, August 1, 2019: This past March, the Canterbury Town Energy Committee decided to hold a campaign, Solarize Canterbury, to bring more solar energy to our town. We adopted a sunflower as our symbol, and used the slogan, “Solar may make more $en$e than you think”
Running from June to August, 2019, the initial goal was 12 new installation contracts, or approximately 25% of the number of pre-existing Canterbury solar installations. Today, at the end of only the second month, this goal has been greatly exceeded! There are now 27 contracts, with several others expected, more than double our original goal!
The Solarize Canterbury campaign encourages people to think about adding solar panels to their homes, outbuildings, or as a ground mount and provides information on financing, installers, and incentives. The committee did the research necessary to choose a reputable partner installer, making this step much easier for interested citizens. The company selected, 603 Solar and Adams Energy, is able to offer discounts during this campaign.
On May 29th, over 100 people attended Solarize Canterbury’s Kickoff Campaign to hear the details of program and learn the benefits of solar, as well as eat hot dogs, socialize, and enjoy home baked desserts. During this event, 603 Solar and Adams Energy, explained their pricing and discounts. These include financing options that enable homeowners to take out loans without a down payment. Monthly payments are equal to the current average electric bill for that household. Instead of paying the electric company, the payment goes to the bank, and after roughly 7-9 years, the homeowner owns the panels which have long since been installed and generating electricity and only pays the utility connection charges after that.
An estimated 45 homes, or 4.2% of the households in Canterbury (latest 2017 figure), already had solar panels, prior to the Solarize Canterbury campaign. This percentage has increased to 6.7% and is expected to exceed 7%. This 67% increase in Canterbury solar home panel installations will have occurred in just three months. It has been possible only because of the truly community based nature of the campaign. The seven member Energy Committee has been assisted in the campaign by over 25 volunteers who planned and campaign events, helped with publicity, and gave out information and answered questions at the Solarize tables at Farmers’ Markets and the Canterbury Fair. Some hosted solar tours at their homes on two Saturdays during June and July.
The mission of Canterbury Energy Committee and Solarize Canterbury is to help residents, town departments, and others lessen their carbon emissions in order to improve health and help mitigate climate charge. With one month left to go, we have so far offset about 185 tons of carbon. The amount of kilowatt-hours that are being produced and offset by solar from this campaign is equivalent to offsetting over 20,000 gallons of gasoline or burning 202,000 pounds of coal.
The Energy Committee might not have had the courage to attempt this campaign without use of the Solarize Toolkit created by Sarah Brock at Vital Communities. This toolkit has made the implementation of the Solarize Canterbury campaign (and many other Solarize campaigns in NH) very manageable. 603 Solar has been a great partner, supplying publicity materials, attending all the tabling events, and providing quick response to the 50 requests (so far) for free site visits. They provide proposals immediately after the visit. Work crews from Adams Energy have been described by homeowners as “respectful” and “easy to work with”.
Clearly, the campaign slogan “Solar may make more $en$e than you think” has resonated with dozens of people in Canterbury.
By Ruth Heath, Chair of the Canterbury Energy Committee and of the Solarize Canterbury Campaign.