Organizers Say Program To Add Solar Panels In Idaho A Success

Dec 27, 2017

Last year, we told you about a program designed to get more people to put solar panels on their roof. The program called its second year successful, but it’s not clear if it'll continue.

In May of 2016, Idaho’s Snake River Alliance launched its “Solarize the Valley” program.

The goal, says Alliance Director Wendy Wilson, was to offer up free estimates and site assessments to people who were interested in going solar. The program has ended, but not before over 1,000 people took a closer look at getting panels.

“Solarize the Valley helped 49 households last year install solar panels and this year we were able to help 60 families and that was for a total of 730kW of solar capacity,” says Wilson.

Wilson says Idaho has been slower to switch to solar than some surrounding states because the Gem State has inexpensive electricity.

But she says many of those who did switch to solar say they are saving money, and feeling better about themselves.

“We’re going to be here in the long run, we might as well invest in the homes that we have and the roofs that we have and save some money while we’re doing it,” says Wilson.

Wilson is not sure that the program will come back in 2018. But she says the Snake River Alliance has been an icebreaker, introducing the community to affordable solar power. She says the Alliance will still spread information about solar panels and help connect people with installers across the state.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

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