In NC WARN’s 2015 Solarize Triad program, a total of 250 Triad residents enrolled and 27 of them signed solar installation contracts for a total of 145 kilowatts, which means we reached Tier 2 pricing. Eleven families signed contracts to have weatherization work done following their energy audit. Using average household energy usage and average weatherization results as a guide, each of these households could be saving over $600 a year.
If you missed the deadline, check out our Tips for Going Solar to learn how you can go ahead on your own.
The Solarize Triad program was sponsored by NC WARN and Clean Energy For Us in partnership with some of the best energy companies in the state. Additional assistance and support has been provided by The EnergyStore in Winston-Salem.
Energy efficiency audits in the Solarize Triad program were offered by Clean Energy for Us. Energy audits detail your site’s opportunities for improvement, how to alleviate those weaknesses, and which projects should be performed in what order (determined by rate of return on investment). Once you receive the results, you can work out a service agreement with costs for the work you choose to have performed. Audits normally cost $180-300 but were free through the Solarize program for qualified participants.
The solar portion of the program was sponsored by the Durham-based climate and energy nonprofit NC WARN. The solar installers for Solarize Triad were Yes Solar Solutions of Cary, Southern Energy Management of Morrisville and the Renewable Energy Design Group of Lewisville.
You can go solar with these solar installers any time. The only thing Solarize gets you is a discount, but you may find that solar is more affordable than you thought, even without the discount, especially if you can take advantage of the tax credits (see below). If you contact a solar installer, they will give you a free assessment of your property. They first look at your property on a satellite map to determine if your property is suitable for solar. If you have too much shade or inadequate roof space, they will call you to discuss these obstacles. If your property is suitable, they will schedule an on-site visit and provide you with a proposal.
Now is the time to go solar because:
- Retail solar prices have dropped 80% in the last 5 years.
- Federal tax credits can pay back up to 30% of the cost if you pay enough tax to use them (see our Pricing & Tax page for more details).*
- Financing is available!
- If you’re participating in a Solarize program, the price keeps dropping the more people participate thanks to the Solarize model’s “tiered pricing.”
* Not everyone can take full advantage of the tax credits. Consult a tax professional to learn how the tax credits apply in your situation.
The table below shows how tiered pricing worked for a 4-kilowatt (average-sized) system in the 2015 program. Once contracts were signed totaling more than 100 kilowatts (about 20 homes), the price for all Solarize Triad customers dropped to the Tier 2 price.
The prices above are for a 4-kilowatt system and apply only to the 2015 Solarize Triad program. You may need a smaller or larger system than this. Your installer will recommend the appropriate-sized system for your needs based on your energy usage and roof size.
This price was for residential systems. In NC WARN’s Solarize programs, commercial systems are priced individually but some are even less expensive because they are generally larger. The first 25 kW of each commercial installation counts toward our kilowatt total and help us reach a higher tier. Extra charges apply for: steep roofs, three stories or more, vent-moving, web monitoring, optimizers, ground-mounts, trenching, and specialized equipment. Installers collect 30% when the contract is signed, 60% after installation, and the balance after the final tier is determined. A small amount from each installation goes into NC WARN’s Sharing Solar fund to help low- and fixed-income households go solar.
Check the FAQ page for more details.