WEST NEWBURY — Feeling shocked by your most recent electric bill? The Energy Advisory wants to hear from home or business owners or non-profit organizations that might be considering whether the time has come to convert to solar energy. 

At Town Meeting last month, Liz Callahan reported that the committee’s new Solarize West Newbury program is well underway. Based on the state’s SolarizeMass program, the local program aims to provide a new group option for West Newbury residents to install electricity solar systems.

The committee is currently soliciting requests for proposals from vendors of residential solar photovoltaic systems.

“By selecting a single qualified vendor to install systems at multiple West Newbury homes, we intend to get discounted pricing compared to way is available to individual homeowners,” Callahan explained.

“The size of the discount we get will depend partly on how many people are participating. As more people participate, we can move from Tier 1 pricing to Tier 2 or 3 pricing that will mean greater discounts for everyone in the group,” she said. Residents who sign on early will also benefit from the pricing adjustments that come from increased participation in the program.

Callahan estimated 35 to 40 West Newbury homes are currently generating electricity with solar paneling and the committee has already heard from a few people interested in learning more about the new program.

“If the Solarize West Newbury program is successful we can hope to increase that number significantly by the end of the year,” she said.

The panel anticipates selecting a qualified vendor within the next 2 to 3 weeks and holding a “Meet the Installer” forum for residents in early June. To learn more about the group purchase of solar system installations in West Newbury email solarize@wnewbury.org.

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