The Southcoast Energy Challenge is pleased to announce the extension of the time-limited Dartmouth Solar Campaign. “We want to be sure to capture all the summer residents and those going on vacation,” said Karen Stewart, assistant director of the Challenge. “It was a joint decision to extend the program until early fall to ensure residents have enough time to get their solar assessments and make their choices before Labor Day and the summer is over,” she added. “The price goes down when more residents sign on, and we don’t want Dartmouth residents to miss out on this opportunity. “
To date, the Dartmouth Solar Challenge has had 121 site assessments and the first installation took place in mid-July. “The fact that Dartmouth vetted the installer helped make the process easier for us,” said Donna and Jack Martin, the new owners of the solar PV (photovoltaic) array. “We’ve thought about solar for years, talked to installers at home shows, even had them at the house, but no one could explain the state incentives like Artie Leonard. When Artie came to our house, he spent 4 or 5 hours with us, explaining the incentives and federal tax credits with such clarity we signed the contract with him,” said the Martins.
The town-sponsored Dartmouth Solar Challenge is designed to simplify the process of choosing solar electricity for the homeowner. Cost reductions are available through a number of avenues: volume purchasing from solar installer RGS Energy, various state incentives, a 30% federal tax credit, and the special tiered rebate. “Ultimately we want to reach our top tier,” said Artie Leonard of RGS Energy. “With the $500 rebate, which is where we are now, there is actually a $2,000 savings because the volume discount we offer is up to $1,500 off the regular price of panels and installation. If we can reach our top tier then that savings doubles. And with some of the state incentives disappearing at the end of the year, this is a very favorable time for residents to go solar and really save.”
Besides reduced or non-existent electricity bills, the benefits of solar are many: reduced harmful pollutants in our air and water, local job creation, diversification of energy resources, and reduced dependency on fossil fuels while helping to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets. “We are glad we had the flexibility to extend the Dartmouth Solar Challenge,” said Kevin Clark Regional Manager for RGS Energy. “Site visits can be time-consuming, and we want to be sure to give the community our best efforts. What is in our customers’ best interests is in our best interests.”