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Pilot Solar Program in Portland a Big Success

More homeowners signed up for solar energy in the first five months of the program than the town has seen in the last seven years.

 

The managers of a pilot program to develop clean, solar energy are lauding the success of the initiative in Portland.

The town, along with Durham, Fairfield and Westport were able to sign up 300 solar energy users collectively in their communities through the Solarize Connecticut program. The towns selected for the pilot initiative were chosen through a competitive process and based on their ability to execute an effective outreach and community campaign.

The program is run by the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, which makes grants to local communities for clean energy initiatives. The more homeowners who signed up for the initiative, the less expensive the installation process became, the agency said.

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"As more homeowners signed up to install solar through purchase or lease agreements, the price for everyone went down – including those who installed systems earlier in the program before the maximum savings kicked in.

“The community leaders working with local installers devoted incredible energy to Solarize Connecticut to help contract approximately 2.3 (megawatts) of new residential solar and more than double the amount of solar deployed prior to the Program in each town.  By achieving the lowest tier of pricing, hundreds of local homeowners were able to benefit from discounted access to clean solar energy,” said Bryan Garcia, president and CEO of CEFIA.  “We expect that we will achieve similar success as we begin the next phase of this innovative program with new communities and their dedicated volunteers."

Portland First Selectwoman Susan Bransfield said the program has helped local residents save money on energy costs.  

“Our community is thrilled with the results from Solarize Connecticut’s innovative program," Bransfield said. "With Portland residents’ commitment, we were able to maximize savings for our community, while promoting a ground-breaking solar campaign. We would like to thank CEFIA, Smart Power, the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program, Portland Clean Energy Commission, Portland's 'solar residents' and all those involved with this very successful program."

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