Solarize Putnam is the county-wide program Sustainable Putnam initiated last summer to help residents, businesses, and our town and county governments expand solar power and clean, green jobs, eliminate a major source of air pollution, decrease our carbon footprint, and lower our electric bills — with no out-of-pocket expenses, and no installation. Win-win-win-WIN! Read on to learn just how successful it has been.
Don’t get us wrong. We love solar panels, and if you’re fortunate enough to own your own home, have a new roof, it’s not shaded by trees or other buildings, annnnnd are able to pay or borrow enough cash to install solar panels, go for it! (See “Go Solar” here.) It’s the best solar option with the greatest payback. But if you can’t check all four of those boxes, community solar is the next best thing. And you should enroll TODAY. Here’s how it works.
Community solar is a renewable energy option authorized and regulated by New York State energy policy. Again, there are no panels or wires to install, and no cost to participants. Community solar allows individuals and organizations to purchase electricity produced at a NYS solar farm at 10% less than the price you pay to your utility. That discount is guaranteed for the life of the solar farm (20 years or more)! Too good to be true? It’s made possible by NYS energy policies designed to encourage solar energy production to replace fossil fuel plants and combat climate change.
We’ve been promoting community solar in workshops, meetings, and on our Solarize Putnam page. We’ve also organized tremendously successful community solar campaigns for the towns of Kent, Philipstown, and Putnam Valley through New York State’s Clean Energy Communities (CEC) Program. These towns have each earned a $5,000 NYSERDA grant, and thousands of dollars in referral bonuses from our selected solar providers.
In fact, more than 1,000 Putnam County residents have already enrolled in community solar through our campaigns, eliminating at least 1,767,423 pounds of Carbon Dioxide every year for the next 20 years or more. That’s nearly 884 tons of carbon dioxide that won’t be going into the atmosphere every year, simply by taking a few minutes online to switch from the default mix of utility-generated power, to solar power from a New York State solar farm. Boom!
And we’re not done yet. There’s still time to participate — but no guarantees that additional solar capacity will be available for long. Anyone can sign up online in just a few minutes at Solarize Putnam. Kent residents will receive a $100 gift card and a $100 referral bonus goes to their town’s Climate Smart Task Force. All other Putnam residents receive the $100 gift card and Sustainable Putnam is awarded the referral bonus. We plow that money back into building this and our other programs. And our straightforward town campaigns can still be implemented in the remaining towns of Carmel, Patterson, and Southeast. In fact, our Putnam County government could implement its own program for all Putnam citizens. Each would be eligible to earn NYSERDA grants and referral bonuses as Sustainable Putnam runs their campaigns. We’re ready to assist any Putnam town that steps forward!
To participate, towns only need pass a resolution promoting the program. Once a town accrues just ten voluntary enrollments, it is awarded 200 points toward Clean Energy Community designation, and a $5,000 grant to use toward more clean energy projects — or 25 enrollments and $15,000 for our County Government. Community solar is free, easy, rewarding, and it combats climate change! What’s not to like? Go to Solarize Putnam and enroll today!