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Energy Co-op of Vermont Extends Deadline for Award-Winning Solar Program to July 1st

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

The Energy Co-op of Vermont announced that the deadline for the 2013 Co-op Solar program has been extended until July 1st, due to the high level of interest in the program and the continued availability of state incentive funds.  Since its launch in February, over 500 Vermonters have signed up for a free solar site assessment available through the program to see how much they can save by going solar.

Senator Bernie Sanders shared high praise for the program at the 2013 kick-off event saying, “What is particularly exciting about this program is that people can move in this direction without spending any more money on their fuel bills than they currently are, because they’re going to pay off their loan from the credit union by reduced fuel costs.  That is exactly the right direction to go.”  The 2012 Co-op Solar program was awarded the Vermont Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence on Tuesday at VBSR’s annual Spring Conference.

Deb Markowitz presents Governor’s Award to ECVT for Co-op Solar program

The state of Vermont offers a $900 – $1200 incentive towards the installation of the Co-op Solar systems through its Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF).  A federal tax credit of 30% brings the net cost down even further.  Coupled with the discount through the Co-op, the cost of a typical system has been reduced by almost 50%.

Financing is also available through local banks and credit unions, helping the solar systems to be installed with little to no upfront costs.  “We are really excited about this program because we think that this is the kind of innovative marketing and innovative financing that solar hot water needs.” said Andrew Perchlik, Executive Director of CEDF.

Co-op Solar system mounted on a south-facing gable in Vermont

In addition to extending the program’s deadline, the service area has been expanded for 2013 and is open to any home or business owner in Northwestern and Central Vermont.  A Co-op Solar open house will be held Saturday, May 18th in Shelburne from 10am to 2pm at Sunward Systems (6221 Shelburne Road, Suite 210), the Vermont-based manufacturer of the solar hot water systems.

Attendees can learn more about how the solar systems work and sign up for the program.  Other educational events are planned and will be taking place in the Co-op Solar communities.  Interested participants can get more details and also sign up for a site assessment online at www.Co-opSolar.net.

Energy Co-op Receives Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award for Co-op Solar Program

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

The Energy Co-op of Vermont’s Co-op Solar hot water heating program has received the Vermont Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for it’s contributions to protecting the environment, conserving energy, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  The Vermont Governor’s Awards were established in 1993 to “recognize the actions taken by Vermonters to conserve and protect natural resources, prevent pollution, and promote environmental sustainability.”  In 2012, the innovative solar program led to the installation of over 40 solar hot water systems in Chittenden County, keeping an estimated 70,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and saving Vermonters approximately $500,000 over the lifetime of the systems.

Energy Co-op General Manager John Quinney and Program Coordinator Ben Griffin accepted the award on behalf of the Vermont residents, business owners and partners who participated in the 2012 program.  Deb Markowitz, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, presented the award at UVM’s Davis Center on Tuesday evening, May 14th saying, “The Co-op Solar program was designed to make solar simple and affordable by forming strategic partnerships, negotiating volume discounts, and providing cost-effective financing to reduce the overall cost.  Others are now using this model to promote solar installations around the state.”

Deb Markowitz presents Governor's Award to ECVT for Co-op Solar Program

Solar Open House in Charlotte – Sunday April 21st

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Join us for a Solar Open House in Charlotte on Sunday, April 21st. Stop by one of the installation sites from our 2012 Co-op Solar program to see how solar hot water works, to talk to the experts and the homeowner – and to enjoy some refreshments.

Co-op Solar Open House:

1321 Thompson’s Point Road

Charlotte, VT 05445

Sunday, April 21st, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

We launched Co-op Solar because we’re concerned about carbon emissions and high fossil fuel prices. We want to help you use less oil or propane and make good financial choices. Last year we installed 40 Co-op Solar systems.  This year, we’re on track to do 40 more.

Here’s what some of our Co-op Solar customers are saying about their solar hot water heaters:

“My whole family LOVES our hot water heater! My husband spent sunny winter days reveling in the fact that we were heating our water when it was 20 degrees outside and my three teen daughters reveled in the fact that there was more hot water available for showers! A win all around.”

Margaret, W., Charlotte, Vermont

“I have wanted a way to reduce the amount of oil I use in my home and to save money. After a site visit, I decided to move forward. My system was professionally installed and looks great on the side of the house. I would highly recommend both Sunward Systems and HarveSTAR to anyone considering a hot water solar system. While the system is still new, I do not yet know what our energy savings will be. But I can say, we are very excited when we are able to take showers in the morning without the furnace kicking on.”

Tassie B., Essex, Vermont

“We installed our system for two primary reasons. For one, the financial incentives were very attractive to us and made it quite easy for us to manage financially. The other was that it was absolutely the right thing to do on our part to reduce our emissions as low as we possibly could. The process really was simple. From initial contact with Sunward to the assessment of our roof to the installation with Eric Hartmann and HarveSTAR, it was absolutely first rate and simple and easy.

Vince C., Charlotte, Vermont

If you can’t join us at the open house, go to www.Co-opSolar.net to sign up for your free site assessment and to get more information.

 

Energy Co-op of Vermont’s Solar Program Expands to Include Addison County

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Colchester, VT – The Energy Co-op of Vermont announced that it has expanded its Co-op Solar hot water heating program to include Addison county.  The program is designed to help Vermonters save money and energy by heating their water with the sun.  In 2012, Co-op Solar helped install over 40 solar hot water systems in Chittenden county.  This February, Senator Bernie Sanders, Andrew Perchlik from the Department of Public Service and CEDF, David Blittersdorf, CEO of AllEarth Renewables and Board Member of the Energy Co-op of Vermont, Tom Berry from Sen. Patrick Leahy’s office, Jon Copans from Congressman Peter Welch’s office, and local officials joined members of the Energy Co-op of Vermont to officially launch the 2013 Co-op Solar program.

“What is particularly exciting about this program is that people can move in this direction without spending any more money on their fuel bills than they currently are, because they’re going to pay off their loan from the credit union by reduced fuel costs.  That is exactly the right direction to go”, said Senator Sanders in his opening remarks.  “What we’re going to be doing here is cutting back on fossil fuels, we’re going to be creating jobs, we’re going to be making Vermont a leader in the movement towards sustainable energy.” added Sanders.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders speaking about the Co-op Solar Program

Over 400 Vermonters have signed up for a free site assessment offered through the program.  Due to the level of interest, it has been expanded to include Addison, as well as Chittenden and parts of Grand Isle, Franklin, Lamoille, and Washington counties.  The program is open to any home or business owner.  Co-op Solar offers deeply discounted systems that are assembled in Vermont.  Further savings come from a 30% federal tax credit and a state incentive of up to $1,200, resulting in up to 50% off the typical cost.  “These new solar hot water systems will pay for themselves through energy savings”, said John Quinney, general manager at the Energy Co-op.

Solar hot water systems can save a typical, four-person household thousands of dollars.  Businesses that use large amounts of hot water, such as dog kennels, cafes, daycares, and laundromats, can also achieve significant savings by having a solar hot water system installed.  Co-op Solar systems can be financed through local credit unions and banks, which helps to make the program accessible to just about anyone.  REV-certified local contractors install the solar hot water heating systems.  “It may be the best investment you can make for your home and planet,” said Quinney.

The Co-op Solar program runs through April 30th, though state incentive funds may run out sooner.  Community events are taking place throughout the service area.  Interested participants can sign up for a free, no obligation site assessment to see how much they can save by going solar.  The online sign up form, events schedule, and additional information can be found at www.Co-opSolar.net.  Due to the program’s timeline, as well as uncertainty about state incentives, interested participants are encouraged to sign up sooner than later to take advantage of the free site assessment and savings.

Solar Hot Water Info Session in Charlotte, VT on March 26th

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Join us for an educational seminar on the Co-op Solar program at the Charlotte Community Library on Tuesday, March 26th at 6pm. Co-op Solar program coordinator Ben Griffin will share a presentation detailing how the program works, how solar hot water systems work, what incentives are available and when they may run out.

Last year, 30 Charlotte residents packed into the library to learn about Co-op Solar, the Energy Co-op of Vermont’s new program designed to make solar hot water simple and affordable.  Over the next few months, eight Charlotte homeowners, including Charlotte News Board member Vince Crockenberg, added solar hot water heaters to their homes.  Here’s what Vince had to say about solar:

“We installed our system for two primary reasons.  For one, the financial incentives were very attractive to us and made it quite easy for us to manage financially.  The other was that it was absolutely the right thing to do on our part to reduce our emissions as low as we possibly could.  The process really was simple.  From initial contact with Sunward to the assessment of our roof to the installation with Eric Hartmann and HarveSTAR, it was absolutely first rate and simple and easy.”

Image 1: Charlotte resident Vince Crockenberg's Co-op Solar hot water system

In 2012, more systems were installed in Charlotte than any other town in Chittenden County. And more than 1,200 Vermonters have installed solar hot water heaters on their homes over the past ten years. On a per capita basis, Vermont is now the solar hot water capital of the United States!

Does this make you curious about solar? Are you unsure about how these systems work or whether solar hot water heaters make economic sense?  Are you looking for more information about the federal and state solar incentives?

Get answers to these questions and more at the Co-op Solar info session at the Charlotte Library on Tuesday, March 26th, starting at 6:00 p.m. If you want to attend, please RSVP by calling the Energy Co-op of Vermont at (802) 860-4090, or by sending an email to info@ecvt.net. To learn more, and to sign up for your free solar site assessment, go to the Co-op Solar web site at www.Co-opSolar.net.

Heating oil and propane prices are sky high.  But sunshine is still free.  That’s why the Energy Co-op created Co-op Solar.  The Co-op has made solar simple.  They’ve picked the best equipment, chosen attractive financing from a local credit union, selected top notch installers – and they take care of the paperwork.

Get the details at the Co-op Solar Info Session, Charlotte Library, Tuesday March 26th starting at 6:00 p.m.

Join Senator Sanders, Bill McKibben and Others March 16th in Montpelier

Monday, March 11th, 2013

We’re inviting you to join Senator Bernie Sanders, Bill McKibben, climate change activists – and Co-op Solar – in Montpelier for a Global Warming Conference:

Saturday, March 16th, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Montpelier High School, 5 Montpelier Drive, Montpelier

Lunch is provided. RSVP is requested, but not required:

Phone: 1-800-339-9834 or to Senator Sanders Office.

Learn about what global warming means for Vermont – and what you can do about it.

Senator Bernie Sanders joined us on February 4th to launch the 2013 Co-op Solar program. We’re grateful for his interest and support.Senator Bernie Sanders

If you’re curious about Co-op Solar – and why more than 1,200 Vermont families installed solar hot water heaters over the past decade – come chat with us at Bernie’s Global Warming conference.

We will be happy to talk with you about why Co-op Solar makes such good sense for Vermonters:

  • FREE solar site assessment
  • Save up to 50% on your solar hot water heater
  • Go solar for $0 down and easy monthly payments

Can’t make it to the Global Warming conference? Learn more and sign up for your free solar site assessment at Co-op Solar.

We hope to see you on Saturday.

Co-op Solar Info Session: Berlin, VT – March 12th at 6:15pm

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Are you curious about solar?  Do you own a home or small business?  And use oil, propane or electricity to provide your hot water?

If you answered “yes” to these questions and live in or around Berlin, Vermont, come to our Co-op Solar Info Session on Tuesday, March 12th, at 6:15 p.m. at the in the Library Room of the Berlin Elementary School (372 Paine Turnpike North, Berlin).

You’ll learn that more than 1,200 Vermonters added solar hot water heaters to their homes over the past decade … and that with Co-op Solar, we added 40 more solar hot water heaters in 2012. The 2013 program runs now until April 30th and incentives may be gone sooner, so sign up now! Hear what Senator Bernie Sanders and others have to say about the Co-op Solar program.

You’ll learn that a Co-op Solar solar hot water heater, now available for $0 down and low monthly payments, could start saving you money right away, especially if you have a sunny south-facing rooftop or a nice open area in your yard.

We’ll have a short presentation to cover solar hot water basics – how it works, what it costs, why Co-op Solar makes good economic sense – and then there will be plenty of time for your questions.

Send your RSVP to info@ecvt.net, or call us at (802) 860-4090.

The Energy Co-op of Vermont launched the Co-op Solar program in response to our members concerns about high fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Co-op Solar is a simple and affordable way for central Vermont residents to save money and make a smart environmental choice – and be protected from future energy price increases – because sunshine is free!

For more details on Co-op Solar or to sign up for a free site assessment, call the Energy Co-op of Vermont at (802) 860-4090, visit Co-op Solar – or come to our info session at the Berlin Elementary School, Library Room in Berlin on Tuesday, March 12th  at 6:15 p.m.

 

The Days Are Getting Longer And Co-op Solar is Heating Up!

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

As the days get longer and start to feel more like spring, the weather isn’t the only thing that’s warming up! The Energy Co-op of Vermont’s Co-op Solar program is off to a great start, with close to 200 people already signed up for a free, no-obligation solar site assessment.

The site assessment helps folks see how much they can save by going solar at their home or business. Signing up is simple and can be done at the Co-op Solar website, www.Co-opSolar.net. Once you’ve filled out the on-line form, we send you a survey asking specific questions about the potential location for your solar hot water system. Once we’ve received your completed survey, we give you a return on investment (ROI) report which outlines the potential savings and reduced carbon emissions that your solar hot water heater will produce.

With this valuable report in hand, we then discuss various options: how many panels to use, where to mount the system, financing, and so on. Many homeowners choose to have a roof-mounted system, while others prefer to have a ground mount system. In any case, we can help you choose the system that works best for your home or business.

If the numbers make sense and you’d like to have a solar hot water system installed, we’ll take a deposit and schedule the installation with one of our preferred, Renewable Energy Vermont certified installers. Our systems can be paid in full upon installation or financed with no money down. Special program financing allows for these systems to be cash positive from day one, meaning you don’t have to pay out of pocket to start heating your water with the free energy from the sun!

We’ve got a lot of great community events coming up to help Vermonters understand how our solar hot water program works…so stay tuned! In the meantime, you can get more information and sign up for your free site assessment at www.co-opsolar.net.

Join the Energy Co-op of Vermont for a Co-op Solar Open House

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

We just launched our Co-op Solar program for 2013 with Senator Bernie Sanders and political representatives joining us for the kick off.  WPTZ Channel 5 covered the press conference and ran a great feature story on the Co-op and the program.  See the video here!

Now we’re spreading the word about Co-op Solar across Northwestern and Central Vermont.  We’ll be hosting a Solar Open House at Sunward Systems, the supplier of our Co-op Solar systems, on Monday, February 11th from 4:30 – 6:30 pm and you’re invited!

We worked with Sunward for the 2012 Co-op Solar program and we’re proud to be partnering with them once again in 2013!  They assemble the solar hot water systems for Co-op Solar right here in Vermont, helping to create green jobs for the local economy.  And they just moved into to a great new office space in Shelburne.  Join us this Monday to celebrate the new factory and learn how Sunward and the Energy Co-op of Vermont make solar simple through the Co-op Solar program!

The new offices are located at 6221 Shelburne Rd, Suite 210, in the new complex directly behind the Fiddlehead Brewery and Folino’s Pizza.  We’ll enjoy some food and beverages, tour the facility, and of course, check out some solar hot water heaters and talk about the Co-op Solar program.  You’ll even be able to sign up for your free solar site assessment!  Please E-Mail your RSVP so we know about how many pizzas to get!!

And if you can’t join us but want to learn more, hop over to Co-op Solar where there’s lots of info on the program and a form to sign sign up for your free assessment

Co-op Solar is Coming Back!

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

We launched Co-op Solar last spring.

By the end of June, more than 500 Co-op members and Chittenden County residents had signed up to get more information on solar hot water heaters for their homes.

By the end of July, 41 people decided to purchase a Sunward solar hot water heater.  Installations began in early summer and were finished up by late fall.

Each year, these solar hot water heaters will displace about 3,000 gallons of heating oil or propane.

Here’s some more good news.  Our 2013 Co-op Solar program will get underway in just a few weeks.  Look for:

  • expanded service area
  • wireless water temperature gages
  • same low prices, attractive financing

Stay tuned for our Co-op Solar 2013 launch, coming in a few weeks.

Member: Renewable Energy Vermont, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility

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