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Solarize Floyd meeting scheduled for October 22

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Solarize Floyd, a community based group interested in increasing the solar generating capacity in Floyd County, will hold its second community meeting on Wednesday, October 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the Floyd EcoVillage, located at 188 EcoVillage Trail just off Franklin Pike/Rt. 681.

The purpose of the meeting is to give people further opportunity to learn more about the program before the sign-up deadline of October 31. At the meeting homeowners will learn how the program is progressing since its initial launch, how it is structured, how to apply and sign up for the program, what the costs are, potential financing options, who the local solar contractors participating in the program are, the role of Community Power Network, the types of systems installed and the brands of equipment used, and the quality control measures that will be in place.

After the first community meeting on July 29, which launched the program, over 60 people signed up to see if their home was suitable for solar and to potentially schedule a site visit. The two local solar contractors, David Wall with Affordable Energy Concepts and Rick Brown with SolShine Alternatives, have been very busy conducting site visits, and 5 contracts have now been signed.

“At SolShine Alternatives we’re very excited to be part of the Solarize Floyd program,” Brown said. “Having the privilege of installing the first solar electric system under this program and seeing the homeowner’s enthusiasm is an added bonus. By teaming up with fellow installer Affordable Energy Concepts and with Community Power Network, we are making this dream of Solarizing Floyd a reality”.

Solarize Floyd is partnering with Virginia SUN, a program of Community Power Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping communities develop solar energy programs. The purpose of Solarize Floyd is to provide affordable and quality solar PV installations in Floyd County through a structured program that will also include financing options, local contractors, and a quality control process that will insure code compliant installation and equipment and a high standard of workmanship. Solarize Floyd will also help to improve the local economy and contribute to a wider effort aimed at expanding and solidifying the regional and statewide solar marketplace, Billy Weitzenfeld stated. ““There is a grassroots movement in this country to develop community projects and programs that help residents and homeowners generate electricity through clean and renewable resources – particularly solar. This is based on the understanding and the increasing awareness that a continued reliance on fossil fuels to generate electricity is damaging our natural environment and our personal health. Renewable energy combined with energy conservation and efficiency is the sustainable energy solution that will lead to a clean, safe, and affordable energy future and it all begins at home.”

The need for home energy efficiency as a first step before installing solar PV will also be discussed and stressed at the meeting October 22. “Making sure your home is energy efficient first is very important in maximizing the energy saving opportunity that solar represents,” Weitzenfeld commented.

Aaron Sutch with Community Power Network and Virginia SUN added, “By making solar easy and affordable, Solarize Floyd is helping the community join a growing movement of citizens in Virginia and across the U.S. that are protecting against rising energy costs and preserving the environment. Community Power Network and Virginia SUN are delighted to be working with the community partners and installers in Floyd to make the program a success.”

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