A number of towns in Connecticut have recently adopted a new plan to expand the use of solar panels by homeowners. The new plan calls for neighboring towns to form a large group of citizens, who wish to install solar panels on their properties at a group rate. The program is called CT Solar Challenge.
Substantial savings are derived by eliminating the normal marketing and advertising costs and by installing up to 50 systems in the same geographic area by the same vendor. The incentive for Old Lyme to participate comes in the form of a free solar installation on a town building. The savings have convinced those who previously thought that solar panel installation was beyond their means to go ahead and install a system, and as more and more families participate the costs continue to reduce.
Old Lyme has been invited to participate in this highly successful model. The CT Solar Challenge is a complete program that requires nothing from the town, except a commitment to promote the program, the use of town meeting spaces and existing communication channels, and a team of willing volunteers to explain the program. Their website is www.CTSolarChallenge.com. Volunteers and those who wish to go solar should contact the Old Lyme First Selectwoman’s office
The State of Connecticut’s Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority also has a leasing program for solar panels in conjunction with their solar rebate program. Details can be found at ctsolarlease.com. Leasing usually has the advantage of a single monthly payment as well as installation, maintenance and repair by the leasing company.