Providence, R.I. – Governor Gina M. Raimondo, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER), Commerce RI and SmartPower today announced that Solarize Tiverton and Little Compton, community campaigns to drive solar adoption in Rhode Island, have closed with a dramatic increase of solar adopters. In total, over 55 homeowners and businesses went solar, doubling the amount of solar in the towns. Solarize Tiverton and Little Compton are initiatives of SmartPower, a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance clean energy, along with OER and Commerce RI.
"It is great to see so many Rhode Island families and businesses in Tiverton and Little Compton taking advantage of these solar energy initiatives," said Raimondo. "With our region facing high energy costs, solar provides an important opportunity to both lower costs and promote clean energy. The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, Commerce RI, and SmartPower are doing great work, and I look forward to these community campaigns continuing to grow across the state."
The number of solar installations in Rhode Island is expected to increase with the scheduled launch of two new programs. National Grid's Renewable Energy Growth (REG) program starts on June 15, which allows customers to earn "bill credits" for the energy they produce from their solar as well as an incentive payment for any excess production. In addition, Dividend Solar, a solar financing company, will partner with SmartPower to offer a loan product that allows customers to own their solar systems with no out of pocket cost and achieve immediate savings on their energy bills – all combined with an extended system warranty and production guarantee.
"We are thrilled to see the strong support of solar following the Solarize Tiverton and Little Compton campaigns," said OER Commissioner Marion Gold. "It is clear there is a growing interest in going solar in Rhode Island. This renewable energy source gives consumers the chance to save money on their utility bills and reduce energy consumption. With new financing opportunities forthcoming, I look forward to continuing this exciting work with our partners."
"Solarize programs are proven to spur the solar industry in the states where we work by raising awareness and providing educational resources for homeowners," said SmartPower's President Brian F. Keane. "At the same time, we're seeing costs are coming down so much –both in the cost of the hardware and through bundled purchasing – that the installation costs drop another 20 percent. With the introduction of National Grid's REG program and Dividend Solar's zero down financing, going solar in Rhode Island is a no-brainer."
There are currently 1.853 megawatts of small scale solar PV installed in Rhode Island. These programs are expected to bring 3 megawatts of additional small scale solar capacity to the state in the next year, spurring investment in the state and creating jobs as Rhode Islanders reduce their energy bills and become more energy independent.
"Dividend Solar is excited to bring a simple path to solar ownership to Rhode Island and enable Rhode Islanders to maximize their savings while supporting their local community," said Eric White, President of Dividend Solar. "We look forward to helping homeowners make the decision to go solar easier than ever with the EmpowerLoan."
For more information on the Renewable Energy Growth Program, please visit nationalgridus.com.
About Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) is the lead state agency on energy policy and programs. OER's mission is to lead Rhode Island to a secure, cost-effective, and sustainable energy future. OER works closely with private and public stakeholders to increase the reliability and security of our energy supply, reduce energy costs and mitigate against price volatility, and improve environmental quality. www.energy.ri.gov
About SmartPower: SmartPower is an award-winning nonprofit organization that works on behalf of municipalities, utilities, businesses, foundations, state agencies and the federal government to turbo-charge energy efficiency and renewable energy efforts. Through innovative on- the-ground campaigns using friendly competitions and challenges, SmartPower is able to create measureable results and save energy. www.smartpower.org
About Dividend Solar: Dividend Solar is a leading solar financing company that partners with local installers across the U.S. to offer its $0-down EmpowerLoan. With performance guarantees, warranty management and system production monitoring included with every loan, the EmpowerLoan offers a better, simpler way for solar ownership. www.dividendsolar.com