Solar program for Trumbullites launches this Sunday, Sept. 22

Trumbull has joined with Easton and Redding to offer residents a chance to participate in a solar program that could mean big savings.

Solarize Connecticut is a unique solar program offered through the state’s Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), offering group discounts on solar installations, using a pre-selected installation company. The program launches this Sunday, with a information session in Trumbull.

Over the past several weeks town representatives have been interviewing installers and announced recently they have formally selected Sunlight Solar Energy to be part of the Solarize Easton-Redding-Trumbull program.

“I am very pleased that Trumbull has been selected to participate in the Solarize Connecticut group purchasing program, which will enable Trumbull homeowners to better deal with the sometimes daunting costs of residential solar installations,” said First Selectman Timothy Herbst. “We look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership with the Towns of Easton and Redding as we work together to promote the program.”

The Solarize program relies on the community to provide outreach and education to create awareness and build interest, and it promotes a clear end date that motivates residents to act. The first step in getting the word out is this Sunday, Sept. 22, with an informational session at Madison Middle School at 2. Those interested in learning more about the program are uged to attend.

Trumbull’s Director of Economic and Community Development Ed Lavernoich said the town has been eager to join the Solarize program. Other communties like Fairfield and Westport are part of the program.

“I had a number of residents ask me about this program, saying they have friends doing it in Fairfield and Westport,” Lavernoich said.

So when the opportunity came up again with CEFIA, Trumbull jumped on board, joining with Easton and Redding.

“It’s a good thing to be part of a collaboration because it makes it much easier to get to the top tier of participation, which allows for the greatest value discounts,” Lavernoich said.

It starts with a free home evaluation by Sunlight Solar, which residents may sign up for on Sunday.

“I know from conversations with a lot of people that many are wondering about solar, but they never get around to doing anything about it,” Lavernoich said. “They worry about having an obligation if someone comes out for an evaluation, or getting an aggressive sales pitch. But that isn’t what happens with this program. It’s a matter-of-fact evaluation and they can tell you whether you are a good candidate for solar panels or not.”

Sunlight Solar will do a profile of the property, looking at things like orientation of the house, possible obstructions like trees and the age of the roof.

“There is no committment or obligation and you’ll find out if it makes sense for you,” he said.

If you decide to move forward, you must sign a contract by Feb. 9, 2014 to be included in the program. The more people who sign up in all three communities, the greater the discount. The state rebate from CEFIA typically covers 20 to 35% of the total system cost according to Sunlight Solar.

Lavernoich said the installation company will give you the paperwork needed to get a federal tax credit. The tax credit gives 30% of the out-of-pocket investment. This credit is utilized when the homeowner files their taxes at the end of the year. There are also a few different financing options for the installation through CEFIA and EnergizeCT.

“Those incentives make it the kind of opportunity that won’t come along too often,” Lavernoich said.

The economic director urges people to come to the session Sunday to find out more. Residents may also call Sunlight Solar Energy at 203-878-9123 to set up a site visit.

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