Excitement is growing for Skagit County residents who have been considering solar panels for their homes. For the first time, Olympia Community Solar has partnered with Skagit Valley Clean Energy Cooperative to offer Solarize, a program to simplify and reduce the cost of installing solar. It’s a streamlined process that provides a free solar assessment to understand what is possible for your home. Installers are ready to go!
Skagit County Solarize Program with Trusted Installers
Over three years ago Olympia Community Solar, a nonprofit organization, began exploring solutions to support homeowners and turn installing solar, normally a very individualist choice, into a community wide effort. They discovered a model of group purchasing solar being used around Washington and around the country called Solarize.
The Solarize model leverages the collective purchasing power of a group of homeowners to secure better prices and contractors. Olympia Community Solar began the program by inviting solar contractors to a competitive bidding process for 50 residential solar projects. “Our goal is to guarantee great prices from reputable contractors” commented OCS President Mason Rolph. “This is our team’s local solution to support residential solar customers.”
The resulting Solarize campaigns in 2021 and 2022 supported 200 households around Thurston and Mason County to install solar, totaling about $3.4 million dollars of investment.
This year the team selected Fire Mountain Solar, Truly Electric & Solar, and Blossom Solar to be the installation partners. All the installers have agreed to provide customers with the same quality equipment and price.
“”It has been an honor to meet, discuss, and install energy saving solar systems with the people here in Skagit County.” says Brad Stockton, owner of Truly Electric & Solar. He is pleased to be able to utilize his education in sustainability to serve Skagit Valley customers.
“It’s important to get the word out there about clean, renewable energy,” says Chris Paxton, Director of Marketing at Blossom Solar. “We are thinking about the future.”
Easy Solar Program Registration for Skagit Residents
Solarize sign-ups are open. To begin the process, enter your basic information through the web site olysol.org/solarize. One of the selected Solarize installers will contact you to schedule your free home assessment.
The installer will review each home’s solar exposure and energy consumption and will provide a solar quote for the homeowner. There is no cost for the assessment, regardless of the customer’s ultimate decision. Each homeowner will learn the costs, energy savings and tax benefits associated with their project.
There are some powerful financial reasons to invest in solar energy. Once your system is online it will reduce the amount of energy you need to purchase from the utility. If you ever produce more energy than your home needs, the extra energy will overflow into the grid and you receive a credit against future power bills. Homeowners may also be able to claim 30% of the project’s cost as income tax credit on their annual return.
The Bells and Whistles
Based on customer feedback from previous campaigns, Olympia Community Solar has included several additional options. Customers can seek quotes for electric vehicle chargers, battery backup systems, and even home energy audits through Solarize!
Through a partnership with the Community Energy Challenge, Skagit residents can also purchase a comprehensive audit of your home’s energy use and efficiency options. You can indicate your interest for a Energy Audit on the Solarize sign up portal.
Sign Up for Skagit Solar Program Before July 4
The Solarize program helps make your solar purchasing experience simple, secure and affordable. Get in on the savings and appreciate your investment in your energy future. The OCS team will support you every step of the way! The program is open through the fourth of July. Check out the Solarize webpage for more information and to sign up for your solar assessment.
Not Able to Access Rooftop Solar?
For many people there are still barriers to residential solar (upfront costs, tree covering, shared housing). To address these barriers Olympia Community Solar is enrolling participants in a community solar project which will be built on Thurgood Marshall Middle School in West Olympia!
Community Solar is when a large group of community members invest in a single solar project and collectively receive the benefits of the electricity generated from it. Individuals can purchase or donate subscriptions to the project and receive an annual check for the value of the energy their units generated in electricity. Individuals also have the option of making a tax-deductible donation to a participating nonprofit! The nonprofit of your choice would receive the annual payment. It’s a creative way to support the wider community and solar education for the next generation all through clean renewable energy! Enroll in the community solar project!
About the Program Sponsor
Olympia Community Solar is a nonprofit organization continuously working toward an equitable and accessible transition to clean energy. They develop solar projects and programs, provide solar grant writing services, and advocate for stronger solar policies. Their projects have received national recognition for promoting community engagement and ownership of solar energy.