SEATTLE – Northwest SEED, Seattle City Light and a coalition of neighborhood groups celebrated the first solar installation as part of the Solarize Seattle: Northwest campaign Thursday. Through the nonprofit-led Solarize program, Northwest Seattle homeowners and businesses can qualify for special pricing and incentives that make solar more affordable than ever. Participants can access a group-buy discount and learn how solar works in Seattle, how it is installed, what tax and production incentives are available to bring the price down, and how low-interest financing can spread out the cost.
Peter House and Anne Fitzpatrick used Solarize to install solar panels at their Phinney Ridge home. They were the first participants in Solarize since City Light partnered with Northwest SEED to promote solar installations in its service territory. And their home now has the 700th set of customer-owned solar panels in the utility’s service territory.
Like many who participate in Solarize, Peter House heard about the program from a neighbor. House met Solarize volunteer Anne Engstrom — who already has solar on her home — while walking in January’s Martin Luther King Day Parade. After hearing about the opportunity, he attended the first public workshop Jan. 26. Two weeks later, his home is solar powered.
“The rate of return on this investment is better than we can get with low risk Wall Street investments such as certificates of deposit,” House said. “Now, with the low prices through Northwest SEED group purchasing and state and federal incentives, we will have something tangible instead of an ephemeral brokerage statement.” More solar installations are coming soon.
Within three weeks of the program’s opening, nearly 300 Northwest Seattle residents and small businesses registered to participate in Solarize Seattle: Northwest. The limited-time campaign intends to install over 200 kilowatts of solar energy in Northwest Seattle by summer of 2013.
“Solarize Seattle: Northwest is exactly the kind of project I want to see more of across this city,” said City Councilmember Mike O’Brien, who joined House and Fitzpatrick to celebrate their installation and help install the first panel. “With these types of public-private partnerships, we make it easier and more affordable for people in Seattle to go green, which is not only good for our planet, but is good for our local economy, too.”
Solarize Seattle: Northwest, sponsored by City Light, is the sixth campaign of Northwest SEED’s Solarize Washington program (solarizewa.org).
Supporting organizations include the Phinney Neighborhood Association, Sustainable Greenwood-Phinney, Phinney Ridge Community Council, Greenwood Community Council, Green Lake Community Council, Sustainable Ballard, Sustainable Wallingford, Wallingford Community Council, and Sustainable Seattle.
Registration for Solarize Seattle: Northwest is currently open at www.solarizewa.org. Registration is open to Northwest Seattle residents in 98103, 98107, 98117, 98133, and 98177 zip codes, within City of Seattle limits. Free educational workshops will be held on February 20, March 16, April 6, and April 24. For more information, visit www.solarizewa.org.
About Northwest SEED: Northwest SEED is a non-profit organization that empowers community scale clean energy through expert guidance that combines technical support, community education and practical implementation. www.nwseed.org.
About Seattle City Light: Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction. www.seattle.gov/light.