Local workshops offer solutions to solar energy generation in Granby

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By David Desiderato

 “If you’ve ever thought about going solar, this is the perfect time,” Kent McCord told the crowd gathered for the second Solarize Granby Workshop on May 15. “Costs are down 70 percent compared to just five years ago, and we chose a great company—RGS Energy—for the Solarize Granby campaign,” he added.
Solarize Connecticut is a statewide non-profit that helps towns choose high-quality installers, negotiate low group purchase prices, and run community-wide education campaigns that make it easy to go solar. Aug. 9 is the end date for Granby’s solarize campaign, which started in April. Residents who sign contracts by Aug. 9 will benefit from the high quality and low-cost arrangement with RGS Energy.


Granby’s third install A 4.3 kilowatt system that will meet the home’s electric needs and costs about $14,500—about $9,000 after state rebates and federal credits—and will add about $9,000 to the value of the home. Savings are expected to total about $13,000 over 25 years and yield the equivalent environmental benefits of planting 80 trees per year or not driving over 7,400 miles per year. Photo by David Desiderato

The workshop at the Vineyards was the second in a series of four that started with the April 5 workshop at the Senior Center. Nearly 150 people attended the first two workshops, which will likely lead to over 30 installations, according to Kate Donnelly, Solarize Connecticut’s Community Outreach Manager.
The last workshop will be July 20 at 7:30 at the Senior Center. You can also sign up for a free, no-obligation site visit on Granby’s Solarize page: solarizect.com/our-towns/granby/
After a short presentation, workshops focus on residents’ questions. Some are answered by members of Granby’s Conservation Commission, led by Vickie Dirienzo, which sponsors Solarize Granby. Technical questions are answered by RGS staff, led by Tom Champlin, Northeast regional sales manager.
A special feature of the May workshop was a series of short presentations by several of Granby’s 90 current solar owners; they provided answers based on their experiences generating their own power.
“I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t go solar if they could,” said Kevin Riggott, Lost Acres Vineyard owner, who hosted the workshop. “The savings are clear, the install process is straightforward, and it’s something we can do to help the environment.” The vineyard installed solar last year to produce the electricity it uses to make wine.
Todd Hollister told the group: “I was prepared to pay a premium to go solar and reduce my carbon footprint. But I used a great loan program and ended up with zero out of pocket and payments that are less than my previous bill. My solar panels produce more electricity than we used the previous year, the system takes no maintenance, and there are no changes to my service. I love win-win situations, and going solar turned out to be a win-win-win.”
Interested in learning more?
The last Granby Solarize Workshop on Thursday July 20, is a great way to learn about solar and help you decide if it’s right for you and your home. Plus every resident installing through Solarize Granby receives a $50 gift certificate to Beman’s Hardware.