The sun is shining for homeowners, business owners and farmers in Jefferson and Waukesha Counties, as the Grow Solar Jefferson and Waukesha Counties program is set to commence on June 15 at 3 p.m.
The program will allow individual home and commercial property owners to access competitive prices for solar installations through the power of volume purchasing, including a limited time rebate.
Rebates could range from around $350 to around $1,400 for the average system size of 7kW, depending on participation. As more properties sign up, the volume rebate increases.
The program is coordinated by the Waukesha County Green Team, Heart of the City-Fort Atkinson, and Midwest Renewable Energy Association.
“Jefferson and Waukesha County residents, farmers and businesses have an opportunity to ‘own’ their energy, and, in the process, retain millions of dollars that would otherwise be spent on utility costs,” said Frankie Fuller of Heart of the City, a Fort Atkinson-based nonprofit. “As a participant in a previous solar group buy program, I continue to reduce my carbon footprint by purchasing an e-bicycle, an electric lawnmower and, most recently, a Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle where I am getting 60 to 70-plus miles per gallon. Solar power is an economic development engine that will retain energy dollars locally, helping to fuel wealth and prosperity right here at home.”
Group purchase programs provide residents and businesses with the opportunity to invest in high-quality, renewable energy solar installations, while also helping reach sustainability goals. In similar programs, estimated first-year savings on utility bills have ranged from $690 to more than $1,000, depending on the size of the array.
Over the next few months, the program will provide free, one-hour-long educational sessions for members of the public. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, these “Solar Power Hours” are webinars and will provide prospective participants with information about how solar energy works.
Representatives of the program also will be on hand to answer questions. The program’s website, JeffersonWaukesha.GrowSolar.org, features a signup form on which area residents and business owners can elect to receive an estimate or general program updates and Solar Power Hour announcements.
“Low-impact technology, like rooftop solar, is leading to a cleaner, cheaper and more efficient energy future, but it can be difficult and time-consuming to determine if solar is right for a home or business,” said Joanna Salinas of the Waukesha County Green Team. “We’re a proud supporter of this program because it breaks down the logistical barriers and brings a community together with the professional and educational materials they need.”
The program is administered by the MREA at no cost to the communities. This type of program has been successful in other Wisconsin communities, including Milwaukee, Dane, Portage and Sauk Counties. An active Grow Solar program also is being offered in Milwaukee County.
“Because so many people are working from home now, lowering electricity bills is more important than ever,” said Peter Murphy, solar program director with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. “There’s a huge demand for information about solar, and we’re demonstrating that solar and energy efficiency can help lots of people lower their bills and improve their quality of life.”