Sunny Cambridge program gives residents solar power advice, maybe citywide system
From the City of Cambridge, April 4, 2016: Sunny Cambridge, a program that provides residents with access to online tools and resources for adding solar power to their homes, launched this week. The program allows Cambridge residents living in single-family, multi-family and condominium housing to get information about making a solar purchase.
Cambridge has set a goal of completing 100 solar installations through the Sunny Cambridge campaign, representing more than 500 kilowatts of solar capacity. Once 75 percent of this goal is achieved, EnergySage and program partners will contribute funds to install a solar system that can benefit the greater Cambridge community.
Sunny Cambridge will spearhead the city’s “Year of Solar” campaign and is another step taken by toward achieving overall clean energy and climate goals. Unlike traditional solar incentive programs in which a single, preselected installer offers a specified discount off its normal price, Sunny Cambridge is to leverage an online solar marketplace via Boston-based EnergySage to allow for transparent competition among qualified installers, helping residents find the best solution for the price. Participants can expect to pay up to 20 percent less for their solar energy systems than market averages.
“Solar power is a key tool in advancing Cambridge’s commitment to environmental sustainability and achieving our net zero energy goals,” City Manager Richard C. Rossi said. “Programs like Sunny Cambridge help position our city as a national leader in clean energy development and serve as an example for other communities across the country to replicate.”
The program will include customized community outreach and an education component with information related to each type of housing stock. Those with complex properties will have the option of working with dedicated solar experts to help determine options and move through the installation process.
“We’re thrilled to be supporting the City of Cambridge in its efforts to encourage and increase solar adoption by its residents,” said Vikram Aggarwal, founder and chief executive of EnergySage. “The solar energy industry has matured rapidly over the last few years, and a program like Sunny Cambridge provides an efficient way for solar shoppers to achieve their solar installation goals.”
“Unique initiatives such as this one help improve the city’s odds of winning the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize,” said Iram Farooq, assistant city manager for community development. The energy prize is a national competition among 50 communities that challenges participants to rethink their energy use and implement strategies to increase efficiency.
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