The goal of the Stow Solar Challenge is to increase the adoption of solar electric systems for homes and small business through a campaign, driven mainly by local volunteers, and a tiered pricing structure that increases the savings for everyone as more homes and business owners in Stow sign up. Find more information under the Stow Solar Challenge menu or follow the links below.
Some folks are being contacted by solar installers other than New England Energy, our solar installer partner. While this is fine – no one has a monopoly on solar in Stow – it can also be confusing.
One homeowner said she had received several calls from another installer where they “weren’t exactly trying to make it clear they weren’t involved with the Solar Challenge”. This caused some confusion as a site visit had already been scheduled with New England Clean Energy.
It is fine to use any solar installer, but please be aware that New England Clean Energy is the solar installer partner for the Stow Solar Challenge. Only installations by New England Clean Energy count towards the goal of reaching higher tiers – reducing the cost for all participants in the Solar Challenge. Another reason to participate in the Solar Challenge is that New England Clean Energy will donate a 5 kw solar system to a non-profit in town if we reach the tier 5 – the highest tier with the largest discount.
The latest Solar Seminar and Solar Open House video are being shown on Stow TV. The schedule for the next broadcast is here.
With the signing of a contract for a 10,464-watt solar electric system, the Stow Solar Challenge has achieved “Tier 3” savings.
The initial, “Tier 1” price negotiated by the Stow Solar Challenge team of volunteers was discounted beyond standard prices, and each tier reached represents even greater savings. For example, Stow resident Greg Ames, who signed up in Tier 1, received $900 off his initial price when the Challenge reached Tier 2, and now he is receiving another $900 off since Tier 3 has been reached.
The Stow Solar Challenge makes solar electric systems available at discounted prices. The more people and businesses signing up, the greater the discount. The program goal is to achieve tier 5 the highest discount level, equivalent to about 40 residential solar systems in Stow.
The extra discounts are worth it for the installer, New England Clean Energy, because the company is getting a lot of customers in one town, which reduces its operational and marketing costs.
The February 5th edition of the Stow Independent included the article “Where the Sun Shines”. A very informative description of a residential solar site assessment. The article contains an error which was corrected in the February 12th edition and the correction is repeated here.
In describing the high capacity solar panels offered by New England Energy, the original article stated “that is the only type eligible for the federal incentives”. This is not correct. All solar panels offered by New England Energy are eligible for the federal incentives. The 30% federal tax credit is available to all participants of the Stow Solar Challenge.
Are there trees shading the site for your solar panels? Here is an informative article on the carbon trade-off between trees and solar panels.
Steve and Kirsten Mong are presented with a solar attic fan for taking the Solar Challenge to Tier 2. Making the presentation are Mark Durrenberger of New England Clean Energy and Arnie Epstein, “solar coach” for the Stow Solar Challenge.
If you missed our Solar Open Houses in December, fear not. You can now get the same tour in the comfort of your own living room. Recently, Stow Solar Challenge volunteers Ann Deluty and Elizabeth Michaud teamed up with Roy Van Cleef of New England Clean Energy (N.E. Clean Energy) to create a video tour of Ann’s solar system, which N.E. Clean Energy installed in June 2013 – before the start of the Solar Challenge. Ann calculates that between the tax credits, the SREC checks, and her electric savings, she’s already getting an over 9% return on her money.
As a follow-on to the tour of Ann’s system, Ann, Roy, and Elizabeth taped a question and answer session that covers a lot of the questions that Stow residents may have about the Stow Solar Challenge and whether now might be the perfect time to take the plunge and get a solar system installed on your roof.
A big thank you to John Browne who generously contributed his time and professional expertise in taping, editing, and posting these videos. John is a professional videographer who has worked with WGBH and other clients for over 30 years. Thank you, John!
Let’s see… bread, milk, eggs, and.. oh yeah, find out about solar power!
On Saturday, Jan. 11, customers entering Shaws had the opportunity to find out more about solar power on the way to shop for groceries . Stow Solar Challenge volunteers staffed an information table and chatted with interested residents from 9 AM to 2 PM. The table setup included an actual solar panel of the same type that New England Clean Energy will be installing on residents’ rooftops. Also available were brochures and a schedule of our upcoming events, including the next Solar Seminar on Wednesday, Feb 12th, from 7 to 9 PM at the Town Hall.
Greg Ames, volunteer, explains solar fine points to an interested Stow resident
A number of interested people visited the table. Several Stow residents were interested enough to sign up for a phone call and a potential site visit to assess their home for solar. With the Solar Challenge nearing Tier 3, everyone who signs a contract brings us closer to bigger discounts for everybody.
Sharon Brownfield, Stow Solar Challenge co-founder, and Ann Deluty, volunteer
Be sure to mark your calendar for our upcoming events, including our second Solar Seminar in less than a month. The official dates for the Solar Open Houses are:
- Saturday, February 15th from 10 am – 2 pm at Ann’s home (51 Birch Hill Rd)
- Sunday, February 23rd from 10 am – 4 pm at Jack’s home (52 Barton Rd).
We may add more open houses these weekends, so keep tabs on our upcoming events page for details.