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The original item was published from 6/1/2023 3:50:00 PM to 7/19/2023 12:03:38 PM.

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2023 - Energy - Spotlight

Posted on: May 24, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Cooperative Purchasing and Federal Incentives Propel the Transition to Solar Energy

A smiling family stands in front of their home which has solar panels on the roof.

Frederick, MD - Residents and businesses can now take advantage of discounted solar installation rates through the Capital Area Solar Switch purchasing cooperative. This innovative program leverages group buying power to allow participants to access solar energy systems at a discounted rate. Solar United Neighbors (SUN), a national nonprofit dedicated to reducing barriers and increasing access to affordable solar technology, organizes the program. 

According to Lindsey Humphrey of the Frederick County Division of Energy and Environment, "We want everyone who has thought about installing solar panels to know that this program is here for them because the more people who sign up, the better rates will be for each project!" 

Qualified solar installers will compete for the co-op’s business in an auction held on June 21. Offers will be evaluated to secure competitively priced solar packages for participants. Those who wish to take part can register up until August 30. However, the more people that sign up before the June 21 auction, the lower the project rates will be.

After registering, participants can access webinars, review project recommendations, and connect with consultants to ask questions – all without committing to buy. Those who move forward with a solar project are expected to save an average of $4,000 on a standard-sized system when purchasing through the Capital Area Solar Switch program. 

Additionally, Federal incentives currently allow 30% of solar installation costs to be claimed as a tax credit. Prices for rooftop solar have decreased significantly in recent years, and the added discounts of group buying, Federal tax credits, and other incentives make installing solar more affordable than ever. 

The Capital Area Solar Switch program offers a unique opportunity for participants to learn about and install rooftop solar panels, battery storage, and electric vehicle charging stations. Participants will reap numerous benefits from these renewable energy systems, including significant cost savings on energy bills, increased property value, decreased air pollution, and a smaller carbon footprint. 

"To help tackle the issues related to climate change, the Frederick County Council established a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030," said Dawn Ashbacher, Manager of the County's Department of Climate and Energy. "Clean energy initiatives play a critical role in achieving that goal. By switching to solar power, participants benefit themselves and contribute to a greener and more resilient future for the entire community."

This program is part of a larger, regional transition to clean energy. Maryland's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act lays out a plan that calls for increasingly large portions of the State's electricity to come from renewable sources. In support of that goal, the City of Frederick is also participating in the Capital Area Solar Switch, as are Arlington and Fairfax counties in Virginia; Montgomery and Prince George's Counties; Washington D.C.; the Town of Poolesville; and the cities of Bowie, Gaithersburg, Rockville, and Takoma Park.

For more information about the program, visit the Capital Area Solar Switch website: www.solarswitch.com/en/maryland/home. For updates and notifications of local learning sessions, follow the Frederick County Division of Energy and Environment online at www.Facebook.com/SustainableFCMD. For other assistance or inquiries, contact DEE Program Administrator Lindsey Humphrey at LHumphrey@FrederickCountyMD.gov or by calling 240-772-0390.

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Capital Area Solar Switch
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