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Residents Offered Discounted Solar Installations As Part Of Solarize Bloomington Campaign
Updated December 21, 2016 6:26 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - When Bloomington's City Hall and Police Headquarters go solar next year, residents will be able join in, at bargain prices, with the Solarize Bloomington Campaign.

The city has asked solar installers to offer a discount to local residents and businesses as part of the project for the city buildings.

The new City Hall system will provide nearly 40% of the building's total energy needs, saving the City -- and local taxpayers -- over $35,000 each year. For Solarize, homeowner electricity savings can be up to 100%, depending on various factors.

"Bloomington and Monroe County have more solar installations than any other area of the state, but renewables still make up such a small percentage of our total energy production," said Jacqui Bauer, sustainability coordinator for the city. "We know there's a lot more potential here."

Solar system prices have dropped by more than half since the city first partnered on residential rooftop solar almost a decade ago. Participants in the Solarize Bloomington Campaign will be offered prices of approximately $7,000 -- after the 30% federal tax credit -- for a four-kilowatt system that can produce about half of the electricity for a typical home.

The City will work closely in partnership with SIREN (Solar Indiana Renewable Energy Network) and solar installers (Whole Sun Designs and Solar Energy Solutions) to implement the program, which will continue through the end of 2017.

"These group-buying arrangements put Going Solar within reach for almost every homeowner," said Woodie Bessler, an electrical engineer and volunteer with SIREN. "By financing the cost with a home equity loan, you can replace all or part of your monthly electric bill with a loan payment of about the same cost -- and after the loan is paid off, you get free electricity for the rest of the 30-plus year life of your system."

The campaign will kick off in January 2017 with public information sessions. Residents interested in attending a session or learning more about the program are asked to fill out an online form at tinyurl.com/solarizebloomington or call 812-349-3837 to get started.

"Global warming is the most urgent issue facing our planet," said Mayor John Hamilton. "Each of us needs to be aware of our energy usage and do all we can to become a little more sustainable every day. And here at the City, we will continue to look for ways to make energy saving opportunities and tools available to Bloomington homes and businesses."



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