Don’t miss your chance to go solar, Fairhaven! The SouthCoast Energy Challenge will be hosting a solar bus tour December 8th at 1:30pm to see the homes in Fairhaven that have taken the opportunity to go solar. The tour will visit up to a dozen homes that have had solar panels installed in the town. Since the start of the Fairhaven program this past May, the SouthCoast Energy Challenge has canvassed over 500 homes, attended the local farmers market and Emma Jean’s cruise nights and helped 107 families schedule a no cost home energy assessment. 171 families in Fairhaven have scheduled solar assessments with 19 signing contracts under Fairhaven Energy Challenge three of which will be included in the tour. The Fairhaven Energy Challenge will be coming to a close at the end of the year. Residents should take advantage of their opportunity to go solar with this being the best time in Massachusetts history. State and federal rebates and incentives, plus a special discount means families can save and potentially make money with solar energy.
There is only space for 12 people, so please RSVP to Crystal at 508-910-1871.
SOUTHCOAST, MA – Over 5,000 SouthCoast residents have now taken the SouthCoast Energy Challenge.
The Energy Challenge is a region-wide energy efficiency campaign to mobilize 35,000 SouthCoast households to take energy-savings actions. The actions they choose help them save money, reduce their carbon footprint, and support the local economy.
The Challenge was launched in August 2011 through the Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance (SEEAL), by a coalition of 25 of the region’s environmental organizations who believe energy efficiency needs to be a top priority in the region. Between 30-40% of all energy produced goes into heating and cooling buildings—it’s common sense to make them as efficient as possible.
The program organizers estimate that if the Energy Challenge goals are met, the region-wide savings could be more than $26 million dollars that will be kept in the local economy to support the environment, education, and jobs. Challenge members have pledged over $250,000 of savings through taking simple steps like getting a no-cost home energy assessment, or properly inflating their car’s tires and committing to driving the speed limit. Members’ combined actions represent saving over 2.8 million pounds of carbon from going into the atmosphere.
“The Bristol Community College Green Center is a proud supporter of the SouthCoast Energy Challenge’s team,” said Elizabeth P. Wiley, Energy Challenge Lead SEEAL Partner Representative. “Their dedication to fostering sustainable living practices in the SouthCoast is evidenced by this extraordinary accomplishment of achieving 5,000 sign-ups. They work tirelessly and have done an amazing job in the communities they serve.”
The program also offers a friendly competition between SouthCoast towns to encourage residents to help their town take the lead. New Bedford is currently the town challenge leader. In New Bedford, over 1,200 people have taken the challenge as part of city’s program, New Bedford Energy Now. “The Town of Dartmouth has also been an active partner and supportive of the program since its conception, with more than 1050 town residents participating in the Dartmouth Initiative,” said Karen Stewart, Assistant Director of the Challenge. ”The town is committed to helping residents save money, and reduce their carbon footprint.”
Fairhaven holds the honor of being the first in a series of Solar Town Challenges, where goals are set around increasing the use of residential solar photovoltaic (PV) units. Residential solar is becoming increasingly popular in Massachusetts. Over 50 homes in the SouthCoast have residential solar PV because of the SouthCoast Energy Challenge. At the Fairhaven Solar Challenge kickoff, DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia said, “At the end of the day, the best decisions are made at the local level–it’s all about local community mobilization. We’re here to empower people in this community to make the right decision–you’re given the choice and the tools, and it’s up to you to take action.”
The Energy Challenge has developed a robust internship model, combined with incentives and rewards from public and private monies. The collaboration of government, educational institutions, other nonprofits, and businesses has built a program that is proud to continue serving the SouthCoast.
SEEAL is a non-profit network of over 20 partner organizations governed by a 15 member Board of Directors, who collaborate to mobilize community resources and increase capacity for environmental education programs and activities. SEEAL is the longest-running program fund of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts (www.cfsema.org).