Program Encourages Charlottesville Homeowners to Go Solar - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Program Encourages Charlottesville Homeowners to Go Solar

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A program to help bring more solar energy to Charlottesville kicked off Tuesday. The program, called Solarize Charlottesville, is encouraging homeowners to go solar by offering bulk purchase discounts and free solar site assessments through September.

"You can design a system to offset as much electricity as your home uses over the course of a year, and that electricity, because it's coming from the sun, is free,” said Jon Proffitt, solar program manager for the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP).

Jack Wilson was a coal miner in his younger days but now he has a solar-powered home, and says he enjoys just looking at the panels on his roof.

"My job was actually shoveling coal into a coal car, and I just stood here and looked at it. Nobody's breathing coal dust, and nothing's collapsing around you. No carbon going in the air or trains you have to wait for. It's just free and clean, and I get a real kick out of just looking at it,” Wilson said.

Albemarle County Supervisor Ann Mallek believes going solar is something each person should consider for the greater good.

“If each of us can make a small investment and offset our own, some part of our own electric need, that creates what's called a ‘nega-watt,’ which is a negative demand and allows our big supplier, Dominion, to reduce their generation, which saves us all money because it costs a fortune to build big power plants,” Mallek said.

Solarize Charlottesville is a partnership between the University of Virginia Community Credit Union, the city of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and LEAP.

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