HOME & GARDEN
Culpeper Times • April 14-20, 2016
➤ Solar, from Page 8 will come into its own. The serious summer sun should drastically offset air conditioning costs, they said. Andrew Grigsby of LEAP said they got into the conversation when they heard so many people dreaming of sustainable systems but waiting for prices to drop. LEAP is now helping many people and businesses like PEC produce at least half of their own energy. And as prices have dropped, businesses compete for more business which leads to even lower prices. But Grigsby said some homeowners might get lost in research before ever getting the chance to meet an installer. “We’re here to help you pull the trigger because we’ve done the research,” Grigsby said. Delegate Randy Minchew of Loudoun, a Republican from Virginia’s 10th district, was on hand to support the local effort for renewable resources. “We’ve been kicking the can down the road for too long,” Minchew said. “I do not care if my name is a chief patron of this bill, I want to see something get done.” Bob Lazaro, director of regional sustainable energy policy for the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, has been helping with campaigns like Solarize Piedmont across Virginia.
“This is Groupon for solar,” Lazaro said. “It takes the mystery out of it.” Virginians spent about $1.5 million in solar project contracts despite the lack of tax credit programs in the Commonwealth. But compared to neighboring states, the solar effort in Virginia is lackluster, according to Lazaro. He said there is more solar power in Frederick County, Md., than in all of Virginia. “If we can improve incentives, we can start to address the huge difference between Maryland and Virginia,” Miller said. “And we have to be honest that it’s the utilities that are blocking a lot of that.” The campaign runs April 5 June 15, 2016, and it’s available to residents in Albemarle, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock Counties. There are great benefits to going solar, such as energy security, long-term cost savings and emissions reduction. This program helps residents with the logistics of planning a solar installation, and it provides competitive pricing. To see if solar is right for your home, farm or business, visit pecva. org/solarize, and fill out the sign-up form. This effort is a unique partnership between PEC, Local Energy Alliance Program, Northern Virginia Regional Commission, and Solar Solutions for All.
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