10/11/13 Solar Challenge Launched in Tri­Town

Community leaders introduced the “Tri­Town Solar Challenge” on September 26 at the Elizabeth Tabor Library in Marion. SouthCoast Energy Challenge and Next Step Living, the program’s energy services provider, outlined the benefits for Tri­Town residents, i.e. those residing in Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester.

“The Marion Energy Management Committee is very pleased with the exciting work being done by the SouthCoast Energy Challenge in this region,” said committee member David Pierce. “Alternative Energy is such a promising field and there is great interest at the local level for private citizens, as well as municipalities, in investigating energy conservation and a cleaner safer environment. We in Marion are pleased with the excellent work that has been completed already in Fairhaven and we are looking forward to seeing similar activity here in the Tri­Town area.”

“After making our house and farm as energy efficient as possible, we felt that going solar was just the right thing to do,” said Susan Teal, Rochester resident and owner of Teal Farm. “As an individual, it’s hard to affect policy; but by going solar, we feel that we are doing our part to help move our country towards energy independence.”

BayCoast Bank, a partner of the Tri-Town Solar Challenge, will help people gain access to financing. Senior Vice President Dan Briand spoke at the event saying, “We are excited that energy efficiency-lending is where we can do ‘do well by doing good’. We’ve already done over 5 million dollars in loans to people in the SouthCoast to help them save energy. It becomes revenue positive if people get a $70 loan payment, but save $75. It is truly a win­win.”

Next Step Living, a Mass Save home performance contractor that performs home energy assessments, is the preferred installer for the Tri­Town Solar Challenge. “Next Step Living is excited to build on the success of our 3-year partnership with SouthCoast Energy Challenge,” said Travis Estes, Director of Outreach for Next Step Living. “Not only is the program helping residents save money on their energy bills, it is also creating a greener economy, allowing our company to grow phenomenally in the last 5 years. We now have over 550 full­time jobs – jobs that can be credited to organizations like SouthCoast Energy Challenge, which educates residents.”

The community can expect to see Tri­Town Solar Challenge interns knocking on doors and providing information at public events in the community over the next six months. They will be there to educate the community about solar PV technology and the benefits of energy efficiency.

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