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We are proud to announce that the 2015 round of Solarize North Fork Valley resulted in over $400,000 in local investment through the installation of 120kW of solar in 22 new systems.

For our tiny community of Hotchkiss, Crawford and Paonia, this is significant and only the beginning…

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ABOUT THE PROGRAM

The idea behind Solarize is to tackle these 3 major market barriers to adopting solar for communities:

cost of a solar sytemThe cost of solar electricity looks like this. You have your hardware costs, accounting for 48% of average system cost, which include your inverter, modules, module racking, and what we call balance of systems (conduit, wiring, meter, etc). And your non-hardware costs, accounting for 52% of the system.

Click to Enlarge Graph

With the price of solar equipment dropping significantly each year, Solarize looks to reduce the non-hardware costs of solar in order to make it more affordable to residents, specifically looking to the customer acquisition portion of the cost of solar. Customer-acquisition activities can add considerable time and cost to PV installations, perhaps especially in areas with less-mature markets where perceived technology risk and unfamiliarity with PV might increase bid-failure rates.

So where Solarize is able to provide the partner installer with jobs in the pipeline through providing hot leads, installers are able to provide residents who sign up for a PV system through Solarize with pricing that reflects the lower customer acquisition costs. This is the basis of our tiered pricing structure.Solarize partner installers will offer rebates to all those who sign contracts by the program closing date as various tier levels of solar is sold through the program.

The rebates are as follows:
50kW of solar sold through the program – $0.05/W rebate for those who participate
100kW of solar sold through the program – $0.15/W rebate for those who participate

Simply put, the more solar sold through Solarize, the less the cost is for everyone who participates!

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For many residents, the most complicated aspect of going solar is knowing where to begin.

Solarize is all about providing an easy starting point. Solarize North Fork Valley provides residents with education on every aspect of solar including energy efficiency, solar electric technology, solar site assessments, incentives and rebates, financing solar and energy efficiency, and much more!

Equipped with this information, residents are able to make an informed decision about whether solar is right for them. Those who want to move forward with solar have the option of working with our Solarize partner installer, who can offer them Solarize pricing.

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A critical component of any Solarize program is its deadline. Residents must sign a contract with the Solarize installer by July 31st, 2015 in order to take advantage of the special tiered pricing offer.

This tiered pricing structure serves as a motivator for residents to talk with their neighbors about Solarize and encourage one another to take action. More neighbors going solar means lower prices for everyone.

HOW IT WORKS

Click to See Details of How it Works

WHY IT MATTERS

Solarize North Fork Valley was inspired by the Solarize program model originated in Portland, Oregon. In Portland, Solarize began as a grassroots effort to greatly increase the installation of residential rooftop solar electric (photovoltaic) systems.

What the originators didn’t anticipate was the entire “market-kickstart” provided by their efforts. In each of the communities that have adopted the Solarize model, non-Solarize contracted installations have increased as a result of the heightened awareness and education provided by the campaign.

As a result of this fact, communities around the nation have used the Solarize model to not only increase the installation of PV systems in their communities, but also to create jobs in the industry. Nationwide, one out of every 78 jobs created in 2014 was in the solar industry.

Learn more about this addition of more than 31,000 jobs in 2014
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At SEI, the success of the industry on both a national and international level has been ever-apparent. Each year, SEI trains over 3,500 students from around the world providing industry-leading technical training and expertise in renewable energy through online courses, in person courses, and hands on PV labs.

While SEI has always been focused on training for the national and international solar market, the time is ripe for SEI to bring our impact home to a our local communities. To do this, SEI secured 2 Americorps VISTA positions to work on Economic Development Through Solar for Delta County this year. And thus was born Solarize North Fork Valley. The goal of Solarize NFV is to bring some of the same success the solar industry has seen on a national and international level to our communities, with the long term goal of creating more jobs locally.

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SOLARIZE BLOG

RESOURCES

Electricity Usage Monitoring

Free use of electrical monitoring devices

Kill-a-Watt electricity usage monitors

Kill-a-Watt Monitors
are available to residents through the Montrose, Delta, Cedaredge, Hotchkiss, Paonia, and Crawford public libraries. The devices can be checked out like other library materials, and allow members to plug in their 110-volt home appliances and other electric devices to determine their electrical draw and the resulting cost.

Free Weatherization Program

Aid for home improvements

Free Weatherization Program

Housing Resources Free Weatherization Program

In partnership with the Colorado Energy Office, Housing Resources works to improve the energy efficiency of residential structures throughout Colorado. The Weatherization Program makes cost-effective, energy-efficient home improvements available to qualifying low-income residents.

Free SEI Online Course

Intro to Renewable Energy

RE100

Introduction to Renewable Energy is an online course teaching the basics of renewable energy – where it is found, how we can harvest it for use in our homes, and how it can help ease pressures on the environment. You will not become an expert through this course, but you will get to know renewable energy in its many forms, helping you to decide whether solar, wind, or other technologies are right for you.

NEEP Grant

For non-profits

NEEP GRANTS

Non-Profit Facility Energy Efficiency Grants – Energy Outreach Colorado offers facility energy efficiency grants for non-profits serving low-income individuals and families. As a result, they can reduce energy costs and allocate more of their operating budget to community services.

REAP Grant

Funding for rural businesses

REAP

Rural Energy for America Program

Provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements to their businesses.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Click on the links below for more detail about these funding options.

Funding Option Pros Cons Loan Amount Limits Avg % Int Rate Loan Period Approx Pmt/Mo Assuming $25K Loan Amount Who Should Apply? Other Notes

Cash Purchase

Qualifies for 30% Federal Tax Credit Immediately Large Cash Outlay – Risk of Reduced Cost Recovery if House is Sold Early n/a n/a n/a 0 Anyone with enough cash to fund a complete solar installation

Mosaic

Loan Interest on Primary Residence is Tax-Deductible Can Carry up to 2.5% Origination Charge Up to 80% LTV 2.79%-4% Up to 30 Years $105 Homeowners with average or better credit and more than 20% equity BEST FINANCING OPTION FOR THOSE WHO QUALIFY!

Local Bank Loan

Local! Limited Loan Programs Up to $5,000 Call Banks for Rates Call Banks for Terms Call Banks for Terms Anyone

Prosper.com

No Collateral Required 3-5% Funding Fee Up to $35,000 6.68% to 35.97% APR Up to 5 Years $495+ Individuals w/ Good to Excellent Credit Small Business loans available up to $300K

LendingClub.com

No Collateral Required 1-5% Funding Fee Up to $35,000 6.68% to 28.69% APR Up to 5 Years $495+ Individuals w/ Good to Excellent Credit Small Business loans available up to $100K

Local Peer-to-Peer Loan from Private Investors

Local! Relationship-based. Flexible Terms Limited Availability No Cap 5-10% 3-7 Years $105 to $500+ (Interest Only vs. Full Amortization) Anyone with a good local reputation/references, and reasonable collateral/security Consult L.I.O.N. Groups for more info

Credit Cards

0% Interest Possible with Intro Rates Balance Transfer between cards may be required about once per year to maintain very low rates Limit Based on Credit 0-20%+ Ongoing $250+ Anyone with Excellent Credit and/or Unused Available Credit
EnergySmart Revolving Loan Fund Funding Up to 115% LTV and no down payment Not Available in Delta County Yet Up to $25,000 3.75% to 8.5% Up to 10 Years $250+ Homeowners with Fair or Better Credit