"Solarize Bellevue," a campaign to reduce the cost of solar electricity for Bellevue residents and businesses that inspired 50 households to install solar panels on their homes, is offering new workshops this summer.
"It was one of the best decisions I ever made," said Glen Anderson, who had a solar array installed on his house last year. "I started generating more power than I was using in late April, and I've been banking power ever since."
Last summer, more than 300 residents attended workshops, taking the opportunity to learn about the costs, incentives, benefits and requirements for putting solar power on their homes. The 50 new solar arrays installed across town increased Bellevue's solar production by 45 percent.
Subsidies, incentives and the dropping price of solar technology can now provide a return on your solar investment in less than five years through the Solarize program. Low-interest financing options also make going solar more inviting.
Solarize Bellevue helps residents and businesses install solar energy systems by educating interested buyers, reducing costs, and streamlining the purchasing and permitting processes. The City of Bellevue is promoting the adoption of renewable energy as part of its Environmental Stewardship initiative.
This year's program is aiming to match last year's performance, with a goal of installing 50 new systems. In addition, the campaign contractor, A&R Solar, will again donate a free system to a local nonprofit organization once 25 new contracts have been signed. The Bellevue Boys and Girls Club Teen Center received a free solar power system last year.
All community members interested in solar are invited to participate in the program and can learn more at one of four upcoming community workshops. A&R Solar, which was selected by community volunteers through a competitive bidding process, will be on hand to answer questions.
Workshop attendees become eligible to receive a free site assessment and cost estimate by the contractor. Attendees are required to pre-register for workshops online at www.greenwa.org. The workshops, which each cover the same, introductory material, are:
- Workshop 1 - Tuesday, July 21, City Hall Council Chambers, 6-8 p.m.;
- Workshop 2 - Saturday, August 15, South Bellevue Community Center, 10 a.m.-noon;
- Workshop 3 - Tuesday, September 1, Northwest Arts Center Studio D, 6-8 p.m.; and
- Workshop 4 - Thursday, September 24, Highland Community Center Multipurpose Room, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
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