Local News

New group-purchase program offers discounted solar power

By From page A1 | April 17, 2013

Have you been thinking about putting solar on your roof or garage, or fixing those leaky windows and ducts, but were put off by the cost? Well, now’s your chance. A new program available only to people who live or work in Yolo County offers a substantial discount — usually about 20 percent — off the regular cost.

“By organizing people who are interested into a group, we can save the installers what they would normally spend to find customers.” said Woodland City Councilman Tom Stallard, who previously took advantage of this program to install solar panels on his house. “This makes it a win-win for both the customer and the company.”

The program also helps homeowners by taking the guesswork out of selecting a reputable vendor, as it uses certified contractors who went through a vetting and approval process.

To participate, homeowners need to sign up on the Energy Benefits Yolo website, www.mygroupenergy.com/group/yolo, by June 30 to get a no-obligation assessment. The onsite solar assessment is free, and the onsite energy-efficiency assessment is discounted to $99 for most homes (normally $500).

Yolo Energy Watch is helping promote the program by giving away one free energy-efficiency assessment in a drawing on June 30. Register on the website to enter the drawing.

According to Mitch Sears, city of Davis sustainability manager, “We know that households throughout our community are looking for opportunities to reduce their energy use, save money and improve the value of their homes. This is just the beginning of the kinds of lower-cost solutions through group buys that we would like to facilitate for Davis residents.”

Cool Davis volunteers are actively promoting the program and are particularly focused on encouraging homeowners to make energy-efficiency upgrades now.

“Sealing up the ducts, sealing air leaks and improving insulation are some of the lowest-cost actions that can make the biggest difference on your energy bill and comfort this summer,” said Chrissy Backman, a member of the Cool Davis Action Team. “With the discounts offered here on top of the energy rebates and other incentives, this is the time to act.“

Homeowners who have already completed those energy-efficiency fixes may be ready to add solar, or might be considering a plug-in electric vehicle that could benefit from solar PV discounts.

For more information and to discuss energy-efficiency plans for your home, Davis residents are invited to stop by Cool Davis’ booth at Picnic in the Park on April 17, May 8, May 29 and June 12. The market takes place in Central Park, Fourth and C streets.

Enterprise staff

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