(BLOOMINGTON) – Homeowners, businesses, and nonprofits in Bloomington and Monroe and surrounding counties are encouraged to consider installing solar panels at favorable rates during the fourth season of the Solarize Bloomington Initiative.
Prospective residents may learn more about Solarize 2019 at one of three additional public information session to be held at the Monroe County Public Library (303 East Kirkwood Avenue, Meeting Room 1B) at 7 p.m. on October 3, 22, and November 14.
The program is open to residential, commercial, and nonprofit property owners in Brown, Greene, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan, Orange, and Owen counties. Those planning to attend a session are asked to fill out an online form in advance.
“The Solarize program is a great way for members of the community to join in Bloomington’s collective effort to reduce our emissions and increase our renewable energy capacity,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “Solarize puts solar power within reach for many more residents than could afford it otherwise.”
Launched in January 2017 to diversify the energy supply at City facilities and across the community, Solarize Bloomington is a partnership between the City and nonprofit Solar Indiana Renewable Energy Network (SIREN) that makes solar installation more affordable through negotiated volume purchases.
To date, 184 homeowners have installed over 1.2 MW of solar capacity through the program. The City has installed solar PV systems at 31 locations, estimated to provide 5 MW of solar capacity for municipal operations.
2019 is the last year that homeowners will be able to claim a federal tax credit equal to 30 percent of the installation price. The solar tax credit for homeowners is currently scheduled to step down to 26 percent in 2020 and then to 22 percent in 2021. As an additional incentive, Duke Energy customers will be able to lock in the benefits of net metering until 2032 for solar purchases made this year.
Solarize 2019 pricing is comparable to that for 2018. After the federal tax credit, a homeowner can expect to spend approximately $8,000 to acquire a solar system when standard components are chosen and the system is sized to produce about half of the electricity used by a typical home.
Solarize’s group-buy arrangement also reduces marketing costs for install partners who pass on part of their savings as a charitable contribution to Indiana Solar for All (ISFA), a program designed to increase lower-income residents’ access to renewable energy. Applications for solar installations through ISFA, a project of the nonprofit Center for Sustainable Living, will be available in December.