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June 23, 2017

Solarize Aquidneck Launches Island-Wide Solar Initiative, Hosts Community Workshops


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On Thursday, November 12, Solarize Aquidneck will host a community workshop-­‐Solar 101,for residents of Aquidneck Island interested in learning more about the advantages of solar installations on their homes and businesses.

The workshop will be held at 7 p.m. at the Community College of Rhode Island, Newport Campus. Those who can’t attend the workshop can sign upfor more information at www.solarizeRI.com/aquidneck.

The workshop is the first of several to be hosted by Solarize Aquidneck, a partnership between the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission, the Towns of Middletown and Portsmouth, City of Newport, RI Office of Energy Resources, Commerce RI and the non-­‐profit marketing firm SmartPower.

The purpose of Solarize Aquidneck is to encourage residents to install solar energy systems by providing deep discounts and financial incentives. Through Solarize Aquidneck, homeowners can greatly reduce their utility bills to save money while producing clean, green and local electricity for Aquidneck Island.

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On October 26th, Solarize Aquidneck began signing up residents and business owners for the program, which will be open for signup through February 15th. The program works by combining the power of group purchasing with federal and state incentives and a federal tax credit. As a result, program participants can install solar systems at savings up to half the market rate, with a typical system payback period of about six to seven years.

The Solarize Aquidneck team selected three solar installers for the Island through a competitive bidding process, and assigned each installer the lead marketing role in one community. The selected installers are Newport Solar for Newport, RGS Energy for Middletown, and Direct Energy Solar for Portsmouth. Homeowners in any community may request a quote and choose Aquidneck
to work with any of the three installers; however they will only receive direct marketing materials from the lead installer for their town.

Solarize Aquidneck is based on a model that has been successful in more than 100 communities in Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut. It is designed to reduce the cost of solar, making it a smart investment for homeowners and businesses. Solarize relies on four key components to reduce installation costs: 1) competitive bidding among installers, 2) a tiered pricing system which reduces costs for all as more people sign contracts, 3) a community-­‐based marketing approach which includes education and uniform pricing , 4) a finite program period to encourage participation.

At the Solar 101 event on November 12th, residents will meet the selected installers and learn about the group purchasing discounts, solar equipment options, financial incentives and returns. Residents will have a chance to ask questions, and to sign up for free quotes on installation. Light refreshments will be provided.Similar workshops will be held in each of the three Island communitiesover the next several months. Dates will be posted on AIPC’s website, www.aquidneckplanning.org.

For more information about the Solarize Aquidneck program or to request a free quotation, call the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission at 845-­‐9299 or visit www.solarizeRI.com/aquidneck.

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