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    Solarize Philly Exceeded 100 Signups; Proves PHL Solar Demand

    Is there a demand for solar in Philadelphia?

    One local solar program has shown that residents are seeking it. According to Laura Rigell of the Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA), Solarize Philly surpassed their goal of 100 sign ups for solar energy with 186 signed contracts!

    “We were able to do surpass our goal by offering a below market price as an incentive for signing up,” Rigell said.

    Solarize Philly is an incentive-based program to bring the cost down for Philadelphians who go solar at home. Launching on July 1, 2017, The PEA partnered with Solar States and two other solar installation companies to form the Solarize Philly campaign.

    What is the process for Solarize Philly?

    Interested homeowners were encouraged to sign up on the Solarize Philly website and received a questionnaire from PEA about their house and PECO bill.

    Once approved, Solarize Philly candidates will be assigned to one of the approved installers. Potential buyers were then provided a free solar assessment to see if their house could go solar along with a quote. The pricing depends on your home and energy usage.

    Once the proposal is signed, the installer does the rest of the work from getting permits, working out the fine details with PECO to the actual installation of solar panels.

    The Philadelphia Energy Authority also teamed up with L&I to streamline the solar permitting process. It works like this: in addition to the process, you also need an electrical permit for solar panels. Although this process used to take weeks or even months, the Office of Sustainability worked with L&I to get the waiting time down to five business days. Solarize Philly has allowed customers to receive their electrical permits on the same day as the appointments, which has saved a considerable amount of time according to Rigell.

    Why should you go solar?

    Did you know that solar is more affordable now than ever?

    Thea Gudonis, of Solar States, constantly hears people say that they can’t afford to go solar. Thanks to local incentives like offering the products below market pricing, federal tax credit, and Solarize Philly financing options, it is increasingly more affordable.

    “If you can afford your electric bill, you can afford to go solar,” Gudonis said.

    Home values also increase with solar energy. According to a study done by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, homes that use solar energy sell 20 percent faster and can increase value by $17,000.

    Solar energy helps the local economy, by creating jobs and the local economy. Solar States has seen their employees double in the past two years. Plus, part of the Solarize Philly fees will stay local putting more effort into solarization, clean energy education, and installation.

    How can I sign up for Solarize Philly?

    Sign-ups are currently closed, but the next round in January 2018 will provide with even more options so low-income families can use solar energy.

    For more information, visit the Solarize Philly website or call the Philadelphia Energy Authority at 215-686-4483.

    Meg Milligan

    About Meg Milligan

    Megan Milligan is a journalism student at Temple University. She loves writing about people's lives and the issues that affect them. Rarely will you ever see her without coffee in her hands.

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