Do you want to slash your electricity bill by 60 percent or more? You could if you go solar! For a limited time, April 2 through May 31, we’re offering discounted prices on solar panels through Solarize Fairfax County.
Like a Groupon for solar, this program offers one-time, low prices with companies chosen through competitive bids.
Last year, almost 50 county homeowners and businesses installed reduced-price solar systems through this program and they’re saving about $1,250 per year on their electric bills.
We are partnering with the Northern Virginia Regional Commission and the nonprofit Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) to offer this program.
Solarize Fairfax County runs April 2 through May 31 and here is how to get started:
- Sign up today for a free solar assessment. No commitment to install solar is required, but you must sign up whether you ultimately choose to go solar or not. Everyone who signs up by May 31 is eligible for the discount even if the assessment occurs past this date.
- Attend optional information sessions in April and May. The first is April 4 at 7 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center, and you also may watch this meeting broadcast live on Channel 16. At these sessions, you’ll learn whether solar is right for you, understand pricing and financing options and meet the contractors who will install your equipment. Attendance is not required but recommended if you plan to participate in the program.
- Save money on your monthly bill: Northern Virginia gets almost as much sun as Miami—and sunlight is free. The more solar energy you capture, the less you pay monthly to your power company. If your current electric bill averages $120 a month, a 6 kW system should cover about 60 percent of that cost on a good site. With Virginia’s net metering law, when your system is producing more than your home is using, the power is fed into the grid and your account is credited at the retail rate.
- Get a 30 percent tax credit before it expires: The federal government offers a 30 percent tax credit for solar systems through 2019, making now the time to install. This credit decreases after 2019, and it will expire at the end of 2021. Fairfax County also offers a credit on real estate taxes, and the county waives all permit fees for the installation.
- Increase Your Home’s Value: Homes with solar panels typically sell for $15,000 more compared to those without them. This finding comes from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Researchers looked at data from more than 22,000 homes across the nation.
- Follow up email: After signing up for a free, no commitment assessment, you will receive an email outlining the Solarize process.
- Satellite assessment: Within three to five business days of signing up, LEAP will perform a satellite assessment and will follow up on your property’s suitability for solar.
- Provide your electric usage: If your property is a good candidate for solar, LEAP will ask for a copy of your electric bill. This allows the installer to determine the optimal size system for your home.
- Installer contacts you: Once your electric bill is received, LEAP will assign you a solar installer. The installer will contact you for a site visit within three to five business days of being assigned.
- Receive a proposal: After a site visit, the installer will send you a proposal tailored to your home (sometimes a preliminary proposal is sent before the site visit) and walk you through financing options.
- Sign proposal.
- Installation begins: Installer obtains all necessary permits, orders the materials and equipment and manages the work. It generally takes about two to four months to get your panels installed, but every project is unique.
This process may take longer, depending on interest in the program.
For more information, email LEAP at email@example.com or call 703-517-7251, TTY 711.