Solarize Program Supports Care of Earth While Providing Discounts of Up to 30 Percent
April 5, 2018—Westchester County, NY
Solarize Our Congregation, a new solar power program bringing quality solar installations at discounted pricing to members and friends of selected religious organizations, has launched. The first campaign of this innovative program is being offered to members and friends of seventy-nine Presbyterian congregations in the Mid-Hudson region through HRP-Green, a volunteer environmental partnership of the Hudson River Presbytery.
Current Solarize Our Congregation campaigns are open to members and friends of congregations of the Hudson River Presbytery (HRP) in eight counties. For purposes of this program, HRP has been divided into two regions, each with its own selected installer: HRP-South (Westchester and Rockland counties) and HRP-North (Columbia, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, and Ulster counties). Eligibility for the program extends to members and friends of HRP Presbyterian congregations, including members of nesting congregations and organizations that use those church buildings.
The Solarize program encourages increased adoption of small-scale solar electricity systems by offering lower installation costs due to economies of scale. Group discounts offered by a competitively selected, pre-vetted, qualified solar contractor are coupled with extensive community outreach and education to create awareness and build interest. A clear end date motivates residents to act. Given the federal and state tax incentives, attractive financing, and the group discount, qualified homeowners and commercial or nonprofit property owners, including churches, can have a system installed at no upfront cost and realize immediate and ongoing savings on their electricity bills.
Homeowners who sign up for solar installations by June 4, 2018 will be able to take advantage of group rates significantly below market prices. Commercial and nonprofit property owners can sign up for information about the program until June 4th and have until October to sign a contract.
A number of HRP Presbyterian churches will be holding Solarize Our Congregation Info Sessions, which are open to members and friends of HRP Presbyterian congregations as well as the surrounding community. Sessions have already taken place in Pleasantville, Rye, and Montgomery. Upcoming sessions include:
HRP – North
Chester: Mon. April 9 at 7 pm, First Presbyterian Church of Chester, 94-96 Main St., Chester NY 10918
Port Jervis: Sun. April 15 at 11:00 am (following 10:00 am service), First Presbyterian Church of Port Jervis, 60 Sussex Street, Port Jervis, NY 12771
Marlboro: Mon. April 23 at 7 pm, First Presbyterian Church of Marlboro, 98 West St, Marlboro, NY 12542
Newburgh: Sun. April 29 11:45 am (following morning worship), Calvary Presbyterian Church, 120 South St., Newburgh, NY 12550
Sun. April 22 at 11:15 am (after worship), Bedford Presbyterian Church, 44 Village Green, Bedford, NY 10506
Mon. April 30 at 7:30 pm, New Hempstead Presbyterian Church, 484 New Hempstead Road, New City, NY 10956
This list will be updated at www.SolarizeOurCongregation.org (select North or South region).
The solar installers competitively selected for the Solarize Our Congregation campaigns are Sunrise Solar Solutions for/by the HRP-South campaign (Westchester and Rockland counties) and New York State Solar Farm for the HRP – North campaign (Columbia, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, and Ulster counties).
Solarize Our Congregation is a new program developed and administered by Abundant Efficiency, a clean energy consultancy. The current Solarize Our Congregation campaign is offered in partnership with Sustainable Westchester, a Westchester-based non-profit that counts nearly all Westchester municipalities as members. Technical support is provided by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative, a $1 billion investment in solar power through 2023 to significantly expand solar installations. HRP-Green has conducted extensive outreach to area churches and congregations and has provided guidance on tailoring the Solarize program for its members.
For more information, visit www.SolarizeOurCongregation.org and select the HRP-North or HRP-South region that applies to your county.
Abundant Efficiency administers the successful Solarize Westchester program which is offered to municipalities by Sustainable Westchester, with technical support from NYSERDA. Since 2015, that program, through campaigns offered in conjunction with twenty-two Westchester municipalities, has resulted in approximately 500 solar installations totaling 5 megawatts of capacity. Solarize Westchester campaigns are currently underway in the Village of Croton-on-Hudson (Solarize Croton) and in the Town and Village of Pelham (Solarize Pelham).
Kathy Dean, Coordinator of HRP-Green:
“HRP Green is pleased to be a partner in Solarize Our Congregation because it fits our mission of sharing best practices in earth care, including ending dependence on fossil fuels. It makes sense financially and it is good for God’s creation. A primary reason I believe in solar is that I want to preserve some of the world as I know it for my grandchildren and their generation, and I believe clean energy is one way to do that.”
Nina Orville, Principal, Abundant Efficiency
“We are thrilled to partner with HRP-Green to bring the successful Solarize model to the Mid-Hudson region through Solarize Our Congregation. HRP-Green’s commitment to caring for the earth, our collective home, make them an ideal partner for the inaugural Solarize Our Community campaign. We look forward to many Presbyterian churches, members and friends enjoying the benefits of solar energy and lightening their environmental footprint through this campaign.”
Bob Elliott, Executive Director, Sustainable Westchester:
“Sustainable Westchester is pleased once again to partner with Abundant Efficiency to promote the use of solar energy. Faith communities offer a unique opportunity to focus on the importance of a sustainable future for generations to come. We look forward to enabling everyone in Westchester County and beyond to be part of this initiative that provides environmental and cost benefits to all.”
Doug Hertz, President, Sunrise Solar Solutions:
“Sunrise is very excited to be working with HRP-Green on this unique program. It is wonderful to be able to bring value to both the churches and their congregants and to support the core value of caring for the earth.”
Anthony Sicari, Owner, New York State Solar Farm:
“New York State Solar Farm is thrilled to have been chosen as the installer for the first Solarize Our Congregation program. Having participated in four previous community Solarize campaigns, we are so excited to bring the benefits of Solarize to this group of Presbyterian churches that all lie within our hometown and neighboring communities. Being a local, family owned company, the goal of this Solarize campaign is one that rings true to our hearts—‘Working to restore God’s creation through greater environmental sustainability in our communities.’ We look forward to the opportunity to help the members of the Presbytery, as well as the churches themselves, to reduce or eliminate their utility bills, and make our world a greener and brighter place for all of us to live.”
Jeffrey Geary, Pastor, White Plains Presbyterian Church
“By getting our energy directly from the sun, rather than burning fossil fuels, the congregation I serve will be saving 48,000 pounds of CO2 emissions a year, the equivalent of taking five cars off the road every year or preserving 3.5 acres of trees. For those more financially minded, it’s a savings of more than $12,000 a year. The solar panels will pay for themselves in a little more than seven years and will, over the life of the panels, yield an almost 14% return on investment. But solar energy is not just a green thing to do, or good thing to do, or a financially sound thing to do. The Apostle Paul would have us see it in the largest terms possible, as nothing less than the arrival of the Sons and Daughters of God, participating in God’s work of redeeming the world, learning again the rhythms of earthly life (Romans 8:19).”
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About Solarize Westchester: Solarize Westchester is one of several clean energy programs offered to Westchester communities by Sustainable Westchester. The program is administered by Abundant Efficiency LLC, the company that has implemented all prior Solarize Westchester campaigns, in partnership with Sustainable Westchester. For more information, visit the Solarize Westchester website at www.solarizewestchester.com.
Photos attached: Yorktown, Beacon, Wappingers
First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown Heights (Westchester County) (2)
First Presbyterian Church of Beacon (Dutchess County) (2 photos)
First Presbyterian Church of Wappingers Falls (Dutchess County) (1 photo)