Local non-profit Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (Northwest SEED) and Seattle City Light are seeking community partners for a new Solarize Washington campaign in central and southeast Seattle area neighborhoods.
Solarize Washington is a community-driven initiative to bring solar energy to homes and businesses in Seattle City Light’s service territory. The program uses an innovative neighborhood group purchase process to achieve discounts and simplify the process of “going solar” for Seattle residents. Solarize campaign staff work with community groups, individual volunteers, and local solar installers to provide a streamlined process and free community workshops for participants. To date, Northwest SEED has completed six Solarize campaigns including the Seattle neighborhoods of Queen Anne, Magnolia, Northeast Seattle, and Northwest Seattle. These campaigns have achieved discounts of up to 25 percent off the cost of a solar system and brought about the installation of nearly 200 residential solar installations in the region.
“We’re seeing more and more customers ask us about how they can install solar panels at their homes,” Seattle City Light Conservation Resources Director Glenn Atwood said. “Solarize is a great way to make that process easier and more affordable. Seattle City Light hopes to continue its partnership in other neighborhoods.”
In order to launch the next Solarize campaign this summer, Northwest SEED and Seattle City Light are seeking to connect with residents and community groups of central and southeast Seattle who want to see a Solarize campaign come to their neighborhood. Community volunteers play an integral role in the success of a Solarize campaign, taking the lead on contractor selection and community engagement. Participating neighborhoods will receive assistance from Northwest SEED to competitively select a solar installer, conduct neighborhood outreach and education, implement a series of free workshops, and facilitate the installation of solar PV systems.
“The idea of Solarize as a limited-time campaign appealed to me as a volunteer,” says Bill Thorness, lead organizer of the current Solarize Seattle: Northwest campaign. “There are so many projects that feel like an open-ended commitment, but I knew with Solarize, I’d be putting effort into it for a defined amount of time. That not only helped me commit to it, but it helps keep up the energy and excitement as the campaign rolls along.”
A volunteer orientation meeting will be held on Thursday May 2, 2013 from 6:00 to 7:45 p.m. at the Columbia City branch of the Seattle Public Library. Additional information and volunteer job descriptions can be found online at www.solarizewa.org. Individuals interested in joining the upcoming Solarize campaign as a volunteer should contact Mia Devine at [email protected] or 206-267-2213.